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(From The Nation (Kenya) - AAGM)
Byline: Franklin Awori
Years before Daniel arap Moi became the second President of Kenya, Steven Maguta used to ferry him from Nakuru to Nairobi. When he lost his bus driver's job, Maguta became a tour van driver. This was mainly in the eighties - when poachers decimated more than half of Kenya's wildlife. So aggrieved was Maguta that he laid a three-year siege on the Tourism minister to register his concern.
Steven Maguta looked sadly at the elephant carcass on a dusty road in Tsavo National Park. He twinged his nose as a petrifying smell hit him and slowly manoeuvred his Land Rover from the sickening sight.
He recalls the strong sense of lose that he felt in June 1985. "At this rate," he thought, "we will not have any animal in our parks. That will be the end of my job as a tour van driver."
The sight of a dead elephant - missing only its precious tusks - ran through his mind as tourists pointed excitedly at animals roaming wild.
So lost in thought was he that only a gun shot stirred him to reality. The team had apparently driven into a group of people killing elephants for ivory.
A few seconds later, another shot rang out. Maguta knew they were in trouble. "I swerved the car left and took a different route to escape the gun shots," recalls the 78-year-old veteran.
The tourists were shaken but safe. "Who are those people?" one of them asked. …