Kenyan animal rights activist and conservationist, Jim Justus Nyamu, who is embarking on an arduous walkathon across five countries to raise awareness on the conservation of African elephants has been reportedly ejected from Botswana.
Nyamu, who started his 4300km journey in July in Nairobi, Kenya, travelled through Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and was supposed to pass through Botswana and end his journey in South Africa.
However, Botswana government officials last week reportedly ordered him to stop his activities, three days after he entered the country.
In an interview with CITE, Nyamu described the experience as devastating, stressful and frustrating.
“I feel rejected by my own brothers, I wasn’t even give a chance to explain to them the cause of my walk and how it would assist them,” he said.
Nyamu said he was deeply disappointed as Botswana`s former president Ian Khama, had announced that the country would consider moving from Appendix 2 of CITES to Appendix one which restricts and regulates the trade of elephants in the area.
“Botswana for some reason has decided they have too many elephants and will allow hunting of the species. The country only has too many elephants because of the Okavango delta hence this gives them a responsibility to protect the endangered species,” said Nyamu.
He described the Okavango delta as home to some of the most endangered species of large mammals.
He added “In real essence the country does not have many elephants, it is just on the corridor where most of the endangered species flock to for safety. Opening up to trade and hunting under such circumstances is not a very wise choice to make.”
Nyamu arrived in Botswana on October 5 and on October 8 was stopped on his tracks by the government.
“Since the time I arrived in Botswana I had police escorts, I was surprised when I was approached by other police officers telling me to report to the government offices. I officially left Botswana yesterday (October 14),” he said.
He said he has been unwell since then and is trying to come to terms with the fact that he had to give up his journey.
Instead of proceeding to South Africa, Nyamu decided to proceed to Malawi where he will walk for a further 430km before heading back to Kenya.