The government’s three-year ban on exportation of live animals was clamped following rampant cheating and abuse of conditions specified on permits, which resulted to massive loss to the state in terms of revenue and animal resources.
However, the government is considering paying consolation payouts to affected traders after a rigorous verification of their claims.
The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Professor Jumanne Maghembe, told the ‘Daily News’ yesterday that the move to ban export of live wild animals for the three years is meant to give the government enough time to put in place a better mechanism that will block loopholes for abuse of the business.
Among the issues that will be looked into before the consolation payout includes the amount of money a trader paid to government for the animals in his shed/zoo when the ban became effective.
“An evaluation of the animals will be conducted before we decide where they will be taken. There are a few places that they can be relocated to, mostly zoos, so they can be cared for because they cannot be taken back to the forests,” he explained.
According to the minister, some exporters used one permit to export twice or more the same number of animals or use one permit to export more animals than allowed in the same permit.
The permit allowed the exporter to export only 87 animals through KIA. More reliable information has it that another trader unscrupulously exported 420 animals using fake export permit.
In a statement to give more clarification on the government’s ban, the minister noted, “the permits and receipts for payment of various revenue paid to government will be looked into and figure out a proper procedure to return the money back to the traders.”
Cases of some of the traders colluding with government officials to abuse conditions of permits issued to them have been rampant with others exporting tenfold of the animals allowed by the permits, costing the country massive losses.
Early this year, Prof Maghembe suspended top officials in the ministry, including the Assistant Director of Wildlife Utilisation, Dr Charles Mulokozi, on allegations of corruption. It was alleged that Mr Mulokozi granted
Credit: All Africa