PROMINENT northern businessman, David ‘Kambwa’ Sheehama has hit back at people who are criticising him for killing marauding lions that attacked his cattle, saying that he will not let anything or anyone destroy his wealth.
Sheehama, who shot two lions on Monday, when they entered his 4 000 hectare Okerina cattle post, and killed two of his cows, said he was defending himself, his workers and his cattle.
“My workers were scared and they could not even move around the farm. My cattle were in a great danger and they could not move and graze freely. What triggered me to kill the lions is when they attacked and killed my cows,” Sheehama said.
“I have worked hard to have what I have, and I will not let anything or anyone destroy my wealth. I did not do it intentionally. In fact, I took the lions to the king. I gave him everything, including the skins. I have nowhere to take the lions, really.”
The marauding lions are believed to have escaped from the Etosha National Park and had been causing havoc and terrorising the community for several days, thus prompting him to kill them, says Sheehama.
So far, six lions have been killed over the past three weeks by people in the area, which
includes the two killed by Kambwa and another one killed on Sunday.
Kambwa said that it is not the first time lions have entered his cattle post.
He said that a similar incident took place at Okerina in 2009, when 12 of his cattle were attacked and killed by lions, and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism is yet to compensate him for his losses.
Commenting about the recent incident, Sheehama said, “No officials from the ministry came to our rescue. I informed the ministry, after gunning down the lions, but they were complaining about transport issues. The ministry later on sent some officials here, but they could not reach the cattle post, because they had a small vehicle, which could not drive over the terrain.”
When asked whether he was under investigation by the ministry, he said that he was not aware of anything, because he was not taken in for questioning nor was there any official that came to the scene.
“I am not aware. How can they investigate me when they did not even call or send anyone to the scene? My phone is on 24/7, why did they not call me? They must come to my farm, I have proof of everything,” he said.
He further defended himself by saying that he has a valid licence for the firearm that he used.
He, however, said he does not have a permit to kill wild animals.
Sheehama told Confidente that if he notices other wild animals on his farm, he will first have to notify the ministry before he takes action.
“Next time, if I see any violent wild animal on my farm, I will inform the ministry first, before taking action, but if I do not get a response from the ministry on time, I will definitely be forced to take risks and kill it, without permission,” he said.
Efforts to get comment from Ongandjera King Jafet Mupiya proved futile.
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has issued a statement, saying that it is investigating all incidents of lions being killed recently, because these were apparently done without approval.
Cases of illegal hunting will be opened against the suspects, and such suspects will be prosecuted for illegal hunting of a protected species, if it is found that the lions were killed without good reason, the ministry said.
“The ministry is concerned about the killing of lions by communities living around the Etosha National Park. Lions escape from the national park, as they get attracted by livestock grazing on the borders of the park. Lions find livestock to be an easy prey, particularly when such livestock wander in the wild, without being properly herded.“We therefore urge communities and farmers not to take the law into their own hands,” said ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015