- On Friday afternoon, May 7th, 2021, a Ugandan military officer, Kennedy Wabwire, was arrested by police in possession of 3 elephant tusks weighing approximately 30 kg.
- Wabwire and another suspect (who is still outstanding) arrived in Busia on motorbikes looking for a buyer. The motorbike operator was also arrested and provided a statement to police.
- Busia had gone for many years without a reported ivory case and has now had three incidents in over a year.
- A Ugandan primary teacher was arrested in January 2020 with 44 kg of ivory and five months ago a Kenyan man was also arrested in Busia with 42 kg of tusks.
- In 2012, the Ugandan Defence Forces were infamously connected to the shooting of 22 elephants in Garamba National Park, DRC, from helicopters. Some of that ivory was later seized in Mombasa in June 2013.
Ugandan official arrested with ivory worth Kshs.3M in Busia (Kenya)
The Kenya Broadcasting Corporation
May 11, 2021
May 7th, 2021: Police in Busia have arrested a Senior Security Officer from Uganda in possession of three pieces of animal trophies worth Kshs 3 million street value.
Kennedy Wabwire, was arrested on Friday at around 2.00 pm through a tip off from members of the public. “We got information that some Ugandan Nationals were on a mission to traffic ivory into Kenya with the aim of selling,” said Busia DCIO, Benard Wamalwa.
Wamalwa said that police officers liaised with the informer and lured the suspects that the buyer was waiting for the items at one of the Mosques in Busia town.
“The suspects arrived in two motorbikes and we managed to arrest one as the other one fled,” he said, adding that the arrested suspect is a lieutenant working in the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UBDF) in Uganda.
He stated that the suspect has been taken to court and will be charged with being in possession of wildlife trophies contrary to Section 95 of the Wildlife Conservation Management Act of 2013.
Efforts are still underway to arrest the other culprits who escaped on another motorcycle with a sack of ivory,” he said, adding that the suspect disclosed that they used the Mariachi route to access the Mosque.
The officer further said that the boda boda rider who was carrying the suspects has also been arrested and has recorded statements with the police as a witness.
Wamalwa urged the local residents to report suspected people dealing in the any illegal activity, adding trade in ivory was affecting both Kenya and Uganda negatively through loss of revenue that could be gotten from tourism.
“If we fail to report such cases, we will not only lose elephants but also other animals,” he said, adding that security officers cannot succeed without collaboration from the local residents.
The official who addressed the press in his office expressed concern that trade in ivory was becoming rampant at the border, stating that this is the third incident.