FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Firstly, let it be known that it is the ODM Party’s stated objective to “respect and preserve our national heritage….for the good and enjoyment of posterity”.
In this respect, the goings on in the Country’s conservation circles in the recent past cannot escape our attention. Nothing demonstrates the painful agony of the failure of conservation in Kenya more than the fact that our black rhino population has gone down dramatically from 20,000 to just about 600, the current population, in 35 years.
If we were to pick a yardstick to be used to spur concrete action to save a species, the Black Rhino tragedy would be the real ground zero from which to start. It would therefore be taken for granted that the man in charge of the docket that saw ten rhinos die in a botched translocation he personally oversaw would be agonising over what went wrong, spending sleepless nights seeking credible answers or even, sending his resignation letter to the President over this gross incompetence and dereliction of duty.
We are privy to information that CS Balala was repeatedly advised against the translocation, by the Outgoing Board at KWS. Clearly, Balala had reasons for breaking rules in going ahead with the process against such advise.
The Law on leadership and Integrity requires state officers take personal responsibility for the reasonably foreseable consequences of the discharge of their duties. The death of the Rhinos was a clearly foreseable consequence especially in light of the fact that it was unsanctioned by the Kenya Wildlife Service.
What is shocking is that CS Balala has sought to lay blame on Junior officers at KWS while he himself evades responsibility. To add insult to injury he has publicly told those questioning him about the matter to “go to hell” because he answers only to the President who appointed him. His arrogant attitude over a matter of international concern has also clearly brought the presidency into disrepute, because we do not believe that the President treats the matter as casually as Balala would like to think.
That the Rhinos died is bad enough without the Public from whose taxes Balala draws his salary being treated to these infantile oubursts akin to the theatrics of an overfed child, vomiting on the feet of their long suffering parents.
We feel it is important to remind CS Balala of the Provisions of Article 73 1 (a) ii of the Constitution which states that “the authority assigned to a state officer must be exercised in a manner that demonstrates respect for the people”.
He has demonstrated his incompetence in matters conservation and now attempts to mask it with arrogance. CS Balala has laid bare his unfitness to hold the office he occupies and compounded it by showing disrepect to the people of Kenya, his real employers and the only way to save whatever is left of his reputation is to resign.
Thereafter, there need to be proper inquiry into the deaths of the Rhinos so that criminal responsibility can be properly assigned to all those involved in this matter.
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM)
30th July 2018.