THE Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam on Monday committed to the High Court for trial of 22 people, including two Burundian nationals, allegedly linked with the killing of leading Elephant Conservationist in Tanzania, South African Wayne Lotter.
Senior Resident Magistrate in Charge Godfrey Isaya made such referral order after conducting committal proceedings with the prosecution, led by Senior State Attorney Wankyo Simon, disclosing the memorandum of facts showing how the accused persons committed the offence.
However, the media could not be allowed to disclose the nature of evidence to be given, including the number and names of witnesses, who will be called by the prosecution before the High Court in attempt to prove the charge against the accused persons.
Committal proceedings come after the prosecution had completed the investigations into trial and filed information regarding the charge to the High Court. The accused persons into the matter are two Burundian nationals Nduimana Zebedayo, alias Mchungaji and Habonimana Nyandwi, alias Ogistee.
In the same boat are Khalid Mwinyi, alias Banyata, a banker and his sister, Rahma Mwinyi, alias Baby, a businesswoman, Mohamed Maganga, an office attendant, Godfrey Salamba, Innocent Kimaro, Chambie Ally and Allan Mafuwe, who are all businessmen as well as Robert Mwaipyana, a bank officer.
Others are Ismail Mohamed, alias Machips, a Somali national and Abdallah Bawaziri, alias Bawaziri, a resident of Dodoma, Leonard Makoi, Amini Sham, Ayoub Selemani, Joseph Lukoa, Gaudence Matemu, Abuu Mkingie, Almasi Swedi, alias Malcom, Emmanuel Sonde, Kelvin Soko and Samia Hujat. All accused persons are facing two charges of conspiracy and murder.
The prosecution claims that on diverse dates between July 1 and August 16, 2017, within the United Republic of Tanzania, all accused persons conspired to murder Wayne Derek Lotter.
It is alleged that on August 16, 2017, at the junction of Chole and Haile Selasie Road within Kinondoni District in the Commercial City of Dar es Salaam, the accused persons murdered Wayne Derek Lotter, who was a South African anti-poacher campaigner.
Wayne Lotter was shot when he was being driven from the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere International Airport to his hotel when his taxi was stopped by another vehicle.
Two men, one armed with a gun allegedly opened his car door and shot him. Lotter was a director and cofounder of the PAMS Foundation, an NGO that provides conservation and anti-poaching support to communities and governments in Africa.
Since starting the organisation in Tanzania in 2009, he had received numerous death threats relating to his work. It is alleged that Wayne devoted his life to Africa’s wildlife, from working as a ranger in his native South Africa as a young man to leading the charge against poaching in Tanzania.
In 2009, he teamed up with Krissie Clark and Ally Namangaya to form the PAMS Foundation. Together they worked tirelessly with communities in Tanzania to protect the country’s wildlife. Through his work with PAMS, Wayne helped train hundreds of village game scouts throughout Tanzania.
His groundbreaking work in developing an intelligence-based approach to anti-poaching helped successfully reverse the rampant rates of poaching, and he helped to dismantle some of the most important ivory trafficking syndicates in Africa.
Though he knew his personal safety was at risk, he never backed down from the fight. Wayne’s charm, brilliance and eccentric sense of humour gave him the unique ability to make those around him constantly laugh and smile.
He died bravely fighting for the cause he was most passionate about.