The late Julius Kariuki Kimani, who was Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Director of Parks and Reserves, until his demise on Sunday December 23, 2018 was laid to rest on January 2, 2019 at his home in Nyandarua County at a ceremony attended by thousands of mourners, among them, senior KWS and Ministry of Tourism and wildlife officials.
Addressing mourners at the burial ceremony, chairman KWS Board of Trustees (BOT), Dr. John Waithaka said the late Kimani was diligent in his work, fitted in all situations, and delivered on any task asked of him from various quarters, including the Senior Management, BOT, Ministry, the broader Government arms as was directed from time to time as well as the conservation fraternity and stakeholders.
Dr. Waithaka said the departed Parks and Reserves Director was not only a colleague but also a personal friend. “I first met Julius when I was working as a KWS employee as head of the Elephant Programme, then as the Deputy Director for Biodiversity, Research and Monitoring”, Dr. Waithaka reminisced.
Acting KWS Director General, Prof. Charles Musyoki described the deceased as an empathetic man who valued character over pedigree.” He looked for the good in each person – and usually found it, and was never embarrassed about working hard, even if the results were less than encouraging,” said Prof. Musyoki.
Prof Musyoki paid glowing tribute to the late Kimani saying he will be remembered for high level of work ethic, passion for all things conservation, being self-effacing, yet an authoritative leader who had the desire to add a rung to the ladder of opportunity for those who served under him.
The late Kimani joined the former Wildlife Conservation and Management Department as an Assistant Warden (ii) with effect from 31st August, 1987 before it transitioned into KWS, upon satisfactory completion of his wildlife career training at the Egerton University and the officers’ paramilitary course at the administration police training college, respectively.
He was later absorbed into Kenya Wildlife Service upon its establishment as a state corporation in 1989 in the same rank and as a result of his outstanding work performance, dedication and commitment to duty, he was promoted and rose steadily through the ranks up to that of Director in-charge of Parks and Reserves which he held until his untimely death.
He was a long serving and dedicated career wildlife conservationist who worked with KWS for over 30 years in many parts of the country and in different capacities.
While in service, he undertook further studies and was a graduate of the National Defence College Kenya as well as the University of Nairobi in the field of International Studies.
He acted twice as Director General KWS for a period of over one year and previously served in different capacities of Deputy Director Parks and Reserves, Deputy Director Security, Senior Assistant Director/Head Intelligence, Senior Assistant Director/Head Investigation, field Assistant Director and Senior Warden.