Presidential Candidate George Wajackoyah has come under fire for including wildlife in his manifesto. Wildlife conservationists have criticized Wajackoyah’s statements that profile hyenas and snakes as high-value animals that could help generate revenue for the country.
According to the conservations, Wajackoyah’s statements had exposed hyenas and snakes, especially in Samburu county to increased poaching, as people sought to reap their benefits.
“I wish to condemn with the strongest terms possible the recent statement issued by one of the presidential candidate profiling hyenas of having value to an extend upto sh6m and this has endangered existence of hyenas in Samburu County,” Holistic Wildlife Management Project Manager Antony Leaduma said.
In his manifesto, the Presidential candidate outlines an elaborate plan to harvest and sell snake venom and testicles from hyenas for their medicinal value.
“Those reckless statements by Roots party presidential candidate Prof Wajackoyah has really given appetite to poachers and they are now looking for hyenas and his statement that snakes’ venom have value is endangering lives of people besides putting snakes at the risk of poachers,” he added.
Leaduma threatened to sue Wajackoyah if he fails to retract the snakes and hyenas businesses from his manifesto. A section of residents from Samburu county echoed the sentiments, sayiing the hyenas should be protected.
According to the locals, hyenas draw tourists to the region, providing revenue and job opportunities as a result. They also help clean the environment as they eat carcasses of livestock.
“As a community living in Samburu County, we will fully support mr Leaduma to move to court to protect wildlife. Our county earns a lot of money from tourism because of wild animals like hyenas,” Pastor David Lenakuapusi said.
The pastor said that Wajackoyah should have provided examples in his manifesto of how, if elected, his administration will cooperate with both domestic and foreign businesses to advance tourism and conservation for the good of the nation.