A Burundi national and a bank employee are among five people charged with the murder of a British conservationist in Tanzania.
The five were brought before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s court in Dar es Salaam on Friday.
Wayne Lotter, 52, was killed on August 16 when his taxi was stopped by another vehicle on its way from the airport and gunman opened his car door and fatally shot him.
The prosecutor Yamiko Mlekano named four businessmen and a National Bank of Commerce employee as being behind the murder of the anti-poaching activist.
The five are Burundian Nduimana Jonas alias Mchungaji, 40, Godfrey Salamba, 42, Innocent Kimaro, 23, Chambie Ally, 32, and NBK worker Robert Mwaipyana, 31.
They are charged with conspiracy to commit murder, with three other individuals not before the court, between July 1 and August 16 last year. The second charge is the murder of Mr Lotter.
Mr Mlekano told the court that the suspects on August 16 killed Mr Lotter at the junction of Chole and Haile Selassie Road in the largest commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
The accused did not enter a plea as the court lacks jurisdiction to hear murder cases.
They will appear in court again on March 6 when the prosecution is expected to present three more suspects in the case – a Barclays Bank employee Khalid Mwinyi, 33, businesswoman Rahma Almas, 37, and gravedigger Mohammed Maganga, 61.
The investigation was being conducted by members of the National and Transnational Serious Crimes Investigation Unit (NTSCIU), which the late Lotter had worked closely with to quell poaching in the country.
Mr Lotter co-founded the Pams Foundation in 2009 to provide conservation and anti-poaching support to communities and governments in Africa.
Since starting the organisation in Tanzania in 2009, he had received numerous death threats relating to his work.
“Lotter’s foundation was financing the task force that has succeeded in its anti-poaching drive so the killers wanted to cut off the source of funds,” a source had told The EastAfrican.