Balala accuses ex-KWS boss Leakey of intimidating board


Balala accuses ex-KWS boss Leakey of intimidating board
Tourism CS Najib Balala and former KWS Chair Dr. Richard Leakey. PHOTOS/COURTESY

In Summary

  • Balala has distanced himself from blame over the death of 10 black rhinos that were translocated from Nairobi and Lake Nakuru National Parks to Tsavo East National Park Rhino Sanctuary.
  • The besieged CS further faulted Dr. Leakey for undermining his position by allegedly kicking out former Tourism PS Fatuma Hirsi from the KWS Board despite his pleas.
  • His remarks come barely days after Dr. Leakey, in a public statement dated July 27, 2018, blamed the CS for the death of the rhinos.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has accused former Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) chairperson Dr. Richard Leakey of intimidating officials of the state corporation.

Appearing before a Parliamentary Committee on Tuesday, Balala distanced himself from blame over the death of 11 black rhinos that were translocated from Nairobi and Lake Nakuru National Parks to Tsavo East National Park Rhino Sanctuary.

“The report from USAID shows that there was a clear interference of the board of management… the board of trustees was also intimidated as well,” said the CS.

“There was personal and forceful intervention by Dr. Leakey in those boards. He intimidated staff as well and I sympathise with all those who have gone home as a result. They are professionals but were intimidated and that is why this process slipped their grasp because they were hands-off the entire time.”

The besieged CS further faulted Dr. Leakey for undermining his position by allegedly kicking out former Tourism PS Fatuma Hirsi from the KWS Board despite his pleas.

“The PS faced many challenges during her time on the board, she was chased away by Dr. Leakey and she never sat on the board since then. Her deputy was the one sitting on the board on behalf of the ministry,” said Balala.

“I pleaded with (Dr) Leakey to allow her to sit in the last board meeting that he (Leakey) chaired but he did not accept it. He went as far as chasing away the conservancy representative of the board and appointing his CEO Dickson Kaelo to act in his capacity.”

His remarks come barely days after Dr. Leakey, in a public statement dated July 27, 2018, blamed the CS for the death of the rhinos.

The ex-KWS chair, in his statement, said that the matter of translocation of the rhinos came up three times during his tenure and, on all occasions, the board turned it down due to “lack of vegetation in the sanctuary that could sustain the rhinos and also, the real issue of available and safe water.”

“The board directed that NO translocation should occur unless these two matters were adequately addressed to the Board’s satisfaction,” added the wildlife conservationist.

For Citizen TV updates
Join @citizentvke Telegram channel



Video Of The Day: On Viusasa, now you can download your videos and play them back later

Story By Mbuthia Bashir
More by this author