Monday, 25 November 2019

A Reminder that the Case about Loliondo in the East African Court of Justice is Continuing, and Late and Limited Updates about the Horrible Proposal About Ngorongoro

In this blog post: 

The news that’s getting old
Court hearing
More about the insane proposal
The threat against the Osero
When the EACJ case was filed
OBC and the draft district land use plan
Kagasheki’s ugly threats and lies
Worsened repression
Majaliwa ”solving the conflict”
The horror of 2018
Mollel’s prolonged arrest
The shocking proposal
How the defendants have reacted to being sued – committing outrageous perjury
The perjurers’ own documents
Reports about the strangest study tour to OBC’s camp

Thursday, 10 October 2019

After 60 Years of the NCAA The Ngorongoro Chief Conservator Announces a Plan to Evict the Maasai Again

While fear and silence continued in Loliondo where government officials will break any law to intimidate anyone who could speak up against so-called “investors” that threaten land rights, things were calming down since there hadn’t been any illegal arrests since January, there weren’t any rangers harassing herders, OBC’s director had for unknown reasons been charged with economic crimes, the president had made a statement on not being happy about evictions of pastoralists and cultivators all over the country, and nothing more was being heard about a threat of Loliondo being placed under the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA). Then, towards the later part of September, news broke that the Ngorongoro chief conservator, Freddy Manongi, and the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Hamisi Kigwangalla, had presented a plan to not only alienate from the villages the 1,500 km2 Osero (bushland) of important dry season land, but to at the same time evict people and cattle from almost the whole of Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA), from the Lake Natron basin and escarpment, and elsewhere, and to restrict land use in other areas. If implemented, such a plan would mean the end of pastoralism in Ngorongoro district, and the end of Maasai culture and lives. The news was met with sadness, confusion, and despair over useless leaders that didn’t immediately act against such an announced atrocity.

As usual, this blog post has many unanswered questions.

In this blog post:
A terrible announcement, an article, and Manongi’s report
Core Conservation Zone –
Core Conservation Sub-Zone
Transition Zone
Community Development Zone-
Confusion about game controlled areas
Kigwangalla at the NCAA HQ
Who’s responsible? UNESCO and others?
Slow reactions and a not that strong statement by the Pastoral Council
Mzee telling it as it is

Friday, 27 September 2019

Questions about the Court Cases against OBC’s Director and a Reminder of his More Serious Crimes in Loliondo - Then the Ngorongoro Conservator made the Most Terrifying Announcement

In this blog post:
What has happened
The period that the foreign workers were employed by OBC without permits
Reporting in regular and gutter (Jamhuri/Tanzanite) press
Magufuli issues a directive about those charged with economic sabotage
Statement about implementation of the president’s January statement
Some of the unanswered questions
Then the Ngorongoro Chief Conservator made a marrow chilling announcement
Summary of Osero developments of the past decades

I still don’t know why after all these years while OBC have had almost all government officials in Loliondo serving them with terror and slander against innocent people, the Prevention and Combatting of Corruption Bureau didn’t until February this year act against OBC’s director Isaack Mollel. I don’t know why this happened, what will happen now, or who is doing what, but I know that the charges relevant to the years of suffering in Loliondo were, in some way, dropped early on, and those remaining are of the kind that any arrogant and unscrupulous company could have been charged with, if unlucky.     

I’d still like more people to read the List of people in one way or other involved in the long-time slander,terror, and corruption syndicate in Loliondo, and I’m looking for further information. Also this blog post has too many questions.

On 26th September the RAI newspaper reported about a terrible announcement by the Ngorongoro Chief Conservator Freddy Manongi (see below, at the end, before the summary). This reached me today on the 27th and made this all but ready to publish blog post seem quite irrelevant. I will follow up on this - will write more extensively - and am asking all defenders of the land to please come out of your places of hiding as soon as possible.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

List of people in one way or other involved in the long-time slander, terror, and corruption syndicate in Loliondo

In this blog post:
The List
Summary of Osero developments of the past decades

Since long before it became the condition of the whole of Tanzania, Loliondo division of Ngorongoro district has been a virtual police state. Everyone who has ever dared to speak up against plans to alienate 1,500 km2 of important grazing land from the local Maasai have at some point had their citizenship questioned, been threatened, slandered, illegally arrested, and even maliciously prosecuted. The same has happened to those who have just been suspected of being able to speak up … This is done by government officials, and others, that seem overly eager to please Otterlo Business Corporation, OBC, that since the early 1990s organize trophy hunting for Sheikh Mohammed, the current billionaire ruler of Dubai.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Hearing in the East African Court of Justice, but Perjurers not yet Cross Examined

On 10th – 11th June there was a hearing of Reference No. 10 of 2017, Ololosokwan, Kirtalo, Oloirien, and Arash versus the Attorney General of the United Republic of Tanzania. As mentioned in the previous blog post, my plan was to write extensively about this, but the defendants had only set aside two days, and their witnesses will be cross examined at a later date, and that was the matter of most interest to me. Now besides being delayed, I may repeat mostly old news here, but it wouldn’t be the first time, and I need to keep repeating the basic facts until they stick (it doesn’t work that way, but I can try...)
All information from readers is, as always, more than welcome.

In this blog post:
East African hearing 10th–11th June, without as much happening as I’d expected
The questions
Summary of Osero developments

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Too Much and Too Little to Write About Loliondo

In this blog post:
2019-2020 MNRT budget: what Kigwangalla said, and not, about Loliondo (the little I’ve heard)

PCCB are silent (and so are everyone else)

Upcoming East African Court of Justice hearing

Summary of Osero developments

It’s been over two months since I published a blog post, and that’s not acceptable. I’ve spent some time on a post putting together what everyone ought to know about the threat against the 1,500 km2 Osero, but it’s almost 70 pages and needs some trimming, even if important aspects could still be missing, and must be included ... I should also make a list of everyone I know is, or has been, involved in the “investor-friendly” corruption and terror complex in Loliondo. Those are very many people, and I fear there are just as many that I don’t know about, so suggestions are welcome.

I’m waiting for information about PM Majaliwa’s threatening decision, but it’s just as well if nothing is heard, and it keeps getting delayed.
I’m trying to get hold of the report by the team of ministers that were tasked with making amendments according to President Magufuli’s surprising statement from 15th January, which could be the best or the worst news ever. The ministers are supposed to have handed in their report, but “nobody” has got it.
There will tomorrow and on Tuesday be a court hearing in the East African case, in which I expect the DC and four others to get nailed for their obvious perjury. I hope and expect to as soon as possible after the hearing be able to write a good blog post about it, so please share what you can find out.
PCCB have for some time been silent about the investigation of OBC’s director Isaack Mollel, and I need to know what’s happening ...

Saturday, 6 April 2019

Science Magazine Article with Huge Media Coverage, Anti-Loliondo Co-Author, and a not so Hidden Wish to Influence the Tanzanian Government

In this blog post:
Article in Science Magazine
Summary of Osero developments of the past decades (important for newcomers)

Like all blog posts this one is delayed, since among other problems, at the same time I had to write about the District Security Officer who’s been charged with corruption, and about the JWTZ soldier brutality that recently led to the death of 26-year old footballer Yohana “Babuche” Saidea. Probably over thirty articles have now been published about the Science Magazine article “Cross-boundary human impacts compromise the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem”, and none of them include any criticism at all, so my delay is unacceptable. I wish more people could have a critical look at it. My post is from a perspective of land rights and human rights in Loliondo.

Why now?
On 29th March, Science Magazine published an article titled Cross-boundary human impacts compromise the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem (behind a paywall, but there are easy ways of opening it), about which the Director of the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), Simon Mduma, says (apparently in a press release, since it shows up in several newspaper articles from around the world, and at a press conference in Arusha), 

"These results come at the right time, as the Tanzanian government is now taking important steps to address these issues on a national level,"

Thursday, 4 April 2019

The Case Against OBC’s Director has Got Closer to Serious Crimes in Loliondo – and then Tragedy Caused by Soldier Brutality has Struck Wasso Town

The bad news of an article in Science Magazine (no news in the actual article, but its massive media coverage at this particular time is bad news,) and the good news of former District Security Officer Issa Ng’itu being charged with receiving money from Isaack Mollel have come at the same time, and I’ve got stuck with a delayed blog post that’s too long and confusing, and that I couldn’t get anyone to read and comment on, but then I was advised to separate the two issues into two blog posts. The post about the Science article will follow very shortly.

Then there was tragic news as well… On 2nd April Yohana Saidea, also known as Babuche, passed away in Wasso town from injuries inflicted by the Tanzania People’s Defence Force (JWTZ) soldiers stationed at Lopolun, who on 7th March had tortured him. The information I’ve got so far is found at the end of this blog post.
Poleni sana familia na marafiki. Pamzika kwa amani Yohana.

In this blog post:
District security officer charged in the Mollel case
The questions
Death caused by the bullying and torturing soldiers in Wasso
Summary of osero developments of the past decades

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Outrageous Perjury about Loliondo in the East African Court of Justice

In this blog post:
Outrageous perjury in the EACJ
The cases against OBC’s director
The question
Summary of osero developments of the past decades

People who know what’s going on in Loliondo continue completely mute, and even some who are on the ground ask me if I know anything... Far too late I’ve got hold of some affidavits with the most deplorable perjury in the East African Court of Justice case. A court hearing has been held in the case – or one of the cases – against OBC’s director. The important questions remain unanswered.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Fear, Confusion, and Cautious Hope in Loliondo - and OBC’s Director Charged with Economic Crimes

In this blog post:
Reactions to the president’s statement
The very unexpected arrest of OBC’s director Isaack Mollel
Remaining questions about the attacks by soldiers in 2018
“Reasons” for the illegal arrests in January
Extreme police brutality
Summary of osero developments of the past decades

This is another unacceptably delayed blog post that’s become too long. Much is happening, some very unexpected and somewhat promising, but exact information is harder than ever to come by. Those who know are silent, and even people on the ground in Loliondo ask me for information… Too many dots remain unconnected, and I’d need some assistance with this. For the first time since the 1990’s it looks like OBC are no longer untouchable. I hope to soon be able to write a blog post with answers to all the questions here, but for that I need some help.

Monday, 14 January 2019

Innocent People Have Again been Illegally Arrested in Loliondo

When the situation in Loliondo seemed to have calmed down after soldiers stationed at the camp in Lopolun had the week before Christmas again gone on violent rampage, beating up innocent people, and burning down 13 bomas in the Leken area of Kirtalo, somehow authorities decided that silenced and terrified people still needed more intimidation, and again engaged in illegal arrests. Innocent people were arrested for six days, which is very illegal indeed.

This blog post is unacceptably delayed for the usual reasons. One of them is that people keep telling me that I will get important information “tomorrow” and then such information isn’t delivered… 

Many questions remain unanswered.

In this blog post:
Illegal arrests
Sensationally good, and the same time absurd, statement by RC Gambo
Aborted visit by the King of Morocco
Conservation Watch interviewing Germans that say that Mwakilema lied in March 2017
Summary of osero developments of the past decades
Update 15th January: the president suspends exercise to remove villages in protected areas

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

November of Terror and Silence in Loliondo has Turned into Christmas of Terror and Silence

Fear and silence have continued into December. In November Tanzanian soldiers could torture and chase away people, and burn their bomas, in serious violation of interim orders issued by the East Africa Court of Justice, while all leaders in Loliondo stayed silent – and cattle were illegally detained on village land.
Beatings continue, and on 21st December 12 bomas (or per other accounts 11 bomas/24 houses) were burned in the Leken area of Kirtalo village.

This blog post has kept being unacceptably delayed and contains some parts that may to some seem irrelevant considering currents atrocities.

The situation is far, far too painful and help is needed from anyone with some influence.

Update: people are again illegally arrested and I’m working on a blog post, even if information is scarce. THRDC have published a brief news alert.  

In this blog post:
Crimes of November
Christmas crimes
The DC comments
The silence
Manongi and the Jamhuri anti-Maasai rag
Charity as a very dirty weapon
The EU
Summary of developments of the past decades

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Extreme Violence Has Again Erupted in Loliondo, Violating Interim Orders, and Nobody is Speaking Out

In wide areas around the camp of OBC, that organizes hunting for Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai, people are being attacked and beaten, and chased away together with their cattle. This is not only a crime against human rights and Tanzanian law, but it’s a serious violation of interim orders issued by the East African Court of Justice on 25th September this year.

Beatings in areas of Kirtalo village have been reported since 10th November, and bomas are again being burned, under unprecedented silence. The situation has kept deteriorating as I’ve been writing on this blog post while getting piecemeal information from many people on the ground.

This time the crimes are mostly being committed by soldiers from the Tanzanian army that have a camp set up in Lopolun since March this year.

A young man studying far from home tells me: “Very stupid, let them be beaten until they learn to report all sort of inhumane happening to them”, “If they can bear brutality let them move on WITH their stupidity”, “Let them be beaten mercilessly until they demonstrate”, “It doesn't start today or the day after today but the issue is a long planned process that gonna drag the life of Maasai”. I will never accept this, and I know that there are many Tanzanians who don’t accept living in a gangster state, and will do what they can to stop the brutality, however stupid, or not - at least they have not always been this passive … - the Maasai of Loliondo may be.

Never has an urgent blog post been more delayed …

Update: on 21st December 11 more bomas were burned down by soldiers in Leken, Kirtalo. Blog post on the way. 

In this blog post:
Brief recent background
Massive violation of interim orders in wide areas around OBC’s camp, with updates
Summary of developments of the past decades

Monday, 5 November 2018

The Spectacular U-turner Kigwangalla has Commented on Loliondo in a TV Interview

In this blog post:
The interview on Kwanza TV
A reminder of the spectacular U-turn
Summary of developments of the past decades

Update: I’ve since 10th November been hearing reports about beatings and evictions in wide areas around OBC’s camp, in serious violation of the interim orders, and will publish a blog post as soon as I’ve got more details. 

On 31st October, Kwanza TV aired a lengthy interview with the Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Hamisi Kigwangalla, and in this interview he talked about Loliondo for a few minutes. As known by followers of this blog, almost exactly a year ago Kigwangalla made the most splendid promises about Loliondo, including promising that OBC would have left before January 2018. Then sadly he made a complete U-turn that I’ve also written about in several posts. In advance, Kwanza TV had been asking the public to submit questions for the minister. The question I submitted wasn’t asked though… “Mh @HKigwangalla, tufanyeje na”syndicate”ya OBC inayotesa wananchi Loliondo?Ulilisemea hili mwaka jana, hata kuahadi OBC ingaliondoka kabla ya 2018! Tunafahamu ulishabadilika kuhusu OBC. Umebadililika pia kuhusu mkurugenziMollel uliesema alitaka kukuhonga? @kwanza_tv #chukuahatua” (translation: what should we do about OBC’s syndicate that persecute people in Loliondo? You talked about this last year, even promising that OBC would have left before 2018! We know that you have changed about OBC. Have you also changed about director Mollel who you said wanted to bribe you?)  I hope it didn’t sound like I believe that Kigwangalla accepted Mollel’s supposed offer. I think his reason for throwing the Maasai of Loliondo under the bus are far more ambitious and long-term than US dollars 100,000, or 200,000 into his pocket.

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Better Late than Never! Interim Measures Issued by the East African Court of Justice to Restrain the Tanzanian Government from Evicting, Harassing or Intimidating the Maasai of Loliondo

In this blog post:
Two sets of interim measures issued by the court
Whose land is it?
Past and present efforts to grab the 1,500 km2 osero from the Maasai

At last some good news! The East African Court of justice has not only restrained the Tanzanian government from more eviction attempts while the case is ongoing, but also restrained the office of the Inspector General of Police from harassing or intimidating the villagers that have sued the government. Though unfortunately there’s some confused reporting resulting from confused writing of the ruling that makes it seem like the government’s vague plan for the 1,500 km2, the plan that must be stopped, would already have been implemented. I should have published this blog post days ago.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Silence, Torture, Stupidity, Affidavits, and Soldiers in Loliondo

In this blog post:
The bizarre case of mistaken identity and illegal arrests
Thomson Safaris back to violence (if they ever stopped), using soldiers
Reported arrests of OBC rangers, but details are scarce and confused…
Attack by soldiers at orpul in Ololosokwan
The government’s affidavits
More articles
Summary of osero and OBC developments of the past decades

Update 25/9: At last some good news! The East African Court of Justice has issued interim orders against both last years illegal operation on village land that led to arson, seizing of cattle, beatings and rape, and against the intimidation campaign launched in May this year to derail the case. The office of the Inspector General of Police is restrained from harassing or intimidating the applicants pending Reference No. 10 of 2017. Better late than never...

In memory of Yohana Saing’eu, many people’s father and legendary chairman of Ololosokwan for 33 years, who sadly passed away on 27th August 2018. In 2011, I saw the defender of the village in a street of Arusha, in the company of a lawyer, and on the way to Dar es Salaam after receiving a letter that demanded that the village certificate be handed in. In 2013, I saw the father sitting on a log in Mairowa with a small girl on his lap. Even if it doesn’t seem so right now, I believe that the legends of the future could be walking around in Loliondo.

This blog post is very delayed, not because there isn’t anything happening, but because multiple bad developments that nobody who hasn’t been silenced has exact information about are taking place.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Release Clinton and Ingrid! Stop insanity and abuse in Loliondo!

Multiple horrible abuse has been going on in Loliondo, and I’m working on a very delayed and very long blog post, full of incomplete information. I must however now write about the most malicious and stupid ongoing illegal arrests that people were shockingly silent about for days, and ask anyone who can help to please do so.

Update: Clinton and Ingrid were released Monday afternoon 17/9 after three and five nights of illegal arrest. I hope more details will follow.

I want to make it clear that I had hardly even heard about Ingrid before the arrest, and have never had had communication with her whatsoever, before or after.

More updates below.

On Friday 14th September I got an email with a short greeting from Manyerere Jackton, the “journalist” who has written over 50 articles full of hate speech against the Maasai of Loliondo. This only happens when he’s up to something bad, like another defamatory article in support of land alienation to benefit the “investor” in Loliondo, or illegal arrests of real or imagined friends of mine. He wanted to know if I was in Loliondo. Later the same day I was contacted by people saying that some “investor friendly” individuals were commenting that I had been arrested after crossing the border in Ngaresero, in the vehicle of an NGO… This was “interesting” to hear when I was sitting at home in Sweden being sad because I hadn’t been invited to a wedding in Kirtalo, even if I wouldn’t have been able to attend it, or anything else in Tanzania, anyway, ever.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Intimidation Continues in Loliondo While Everyone has been Silenced

In this blog post:
Violent assault committed by soldiers
The EACJ case
Probe team, team of attorney general’s lawyers, or whatever
Reuters article everywhere
Visit by RC Gambo
Summary (important reading for those who want to write about Loliondo, but don’t have the time to check facts)

Don’t forget to read the 12th June blog post with the sad story about Thomson Safaris’ ruthless hypocrisy, the 7th June and 13th May posts with chaotic updates, and the 11th April post about the visit by Sheikh Mohammed, and Kigwangalla’s spectacular U-turn.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

A Decade since Trent Keegan was Murdered and Thomson Safaris Continue Occupying Maasai Land

In this blog post:
Tanzania Breweries Limited
Thomson Safaris take Maasai land as their nature refuge
Lesinko shot at Enashiva Nature Refuge
Trent murdered
2009 drought
The sign
First international article
The PM’s “report”
Unanswered UN letters
The court cases
Becoming a blogger
The negotiations
Children beaten
Five herders prosecuted for trespass
Killing a website
More journalists in trouble
Olunjai shot
The big intimidation campaign in Loliondo
Charity as a weapon – and recently buying who could not be bought
Current silence

Read the most recent blog posts to understand what’s going on with OBC and the 1,500 km2, and the further increased intimidation campaign. Thomson Safaris is about another, unrelated, tourism company in Loliondo, but with the same “friends”, and benefitting from the same lawlessness and repression.

This blog post is far too delayed, and it’s because of unexpected bad news, both about OBC and Thomson, and because it’s been impossible, and continue being impossible, to get hold of people whose view I need to hear.

Thomson Safaris, a Boston-based safari company that furiously insists that Maasai grazing land is their own Enashiva Nature Refuge (a.k.a Eastern Serengeti Nature Refuge), and with a police state at their service to silence their critics feel sorry for themselves because nobody listens to their side…

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Intimidation and Illegal Arrests to Derail the Case Filed Against the Tanzanian Government by Four Loliondo Villages

In this blog post:
“Secret” intimidation and illegal arrest campaign
eNCA piece about Loliondo - husband of interviewed family currently in police custody
The hearing
Another, maybe unrelated, wave of arrests
Kigwangalla’s budget presentation and the timid opposition reaction to Loliondo
Oakland’s response to the Tanzanian government
Manyerere Jackton again
What has happened? (summary that’s very useful for newcomers)

Since the intimidation campaign to derail the case in the East African Court of Justice, for some inexplicable reason, was kept a secret for weeks, I have got more details after publishing this blog post, and those have been added in this text colour. 

I was to post a delayed blog post about Thomson Safaris, but it will have to wait a bit longer.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Loliondo Report by the Oakland Institute and Kigwangalla Makes his U-turn Even More Extreme

In this blog post:
Report by the Oakland Institute
Kigwangalla becomes like his shamelessly lying predecessors
Livestock detained at Wasso market
Secret meeting for a “friendlier special authority”
OBC’s gift to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism
Summary for newcomers

There may be developments on the ground in Loliondo - or in Arusha - that I will write more about later when I’ve got information.

Nothing has happened with PM Majaliwa’s threatening decision to form a “special authority” to manage the 1,500 km2 of important grazing land that OBC (that organises hunting for Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai) for years have lobbied to have turned into a “protected area”, and it’s now fortunately too late* to be included in the 2018-2019 budget. The Maasai of Loliondo had, despite severe harassment of those speaking up, managed to fight off several threats against this land. In 2016 repression worsened, OBC sent out a press release about the “destructiveness” of the Maasai pleading with the Ministry of Natural Resources to do something, and the PM tasked the Arusha RC with settting up a select committee that came up with a compromise proposal. While everyone was waiting to hear from the PM, in August 2017, the DC ordered an illegal invasion of village land in which Serengeti rangers assisted by NCA rangers, police, KDU and OBC rangers, committed mass arson and other human rights crimes. The illegal operation went on for over two months while some leaders who should have spoken up went horribly silent. The crimes were finally stopped by the new minister, Kigwangalla, who also said that OBC would have left before January never to be given another hunting block. OBC didn’t go anywhere, and on 6th December the PM announced his decision that was a vague and threatening “special authority” to manage the land, and he said that OBC were staying.

* update: Or maybe not… since Kigwangalla, on 21st May mentioned the chombo maalum in his budget speech, saying that the draft had been presented to the relevant ministers, and a new version is being prepared to be presented to the PM. All this is being done above the heads, or behind the backs, of the people of Loliondo.

My previous blog post, about a visit by Sheikh Mohammed, his old friend Kinana, and about Kigwangalla’s U-turn, is still worth reading.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Loliondo between Silence, Confusion, Fear, and Bad Old Friends

In this blog post:
The East African Court case
Visit by royal hunters
The Minister’s U-turn
Silence about the “chombo/mamlaka maalum” and the German money
Video by PINGO’s Forum
Magufuli in Arusha
Military camp
No justice
Summary for newcomers

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Fear and Silence in Loliondo

In this very brief blog post:
Confusion about the “special authority”
Few meetings
Dismissed preliminary objection
Livestock census
Background summary

Confusion about the “special authority”
After PM Majaliwa’s much delayed announcement of his decision how to “solve the conflict” over 1,500 km2 of important grazing land in Loliondo that the “investor” from Dubai, Otterlo Business Corporation, for years has lobbied to have converted into a protected area, silence has ruled Loliondo.

The PM’s decision, rushing through a legal bill before February/March to create a “special authority” (chombo maalum) that will manage the land, was a huge disappointment and caused great fear in those I heard from, and this makes the silence hard to explain. There had been hope that the village land would be left in the hands of villagers, with the condition that they form a WMA, which was the compromise proposal reached by the Arusha RC’s select (non-participatory) committee. A WMA carries considerable dangers in itself and had therefore been rejected for a decade and a half.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

PM Majaliwa Announces Vague and Terrifying Decision about Land in Loliondo, and Says that OBC will Stay

In this blog post:
The PM’s vague and terrifying decision.
Whose land is it?
Press meeting
Kigwangalla’s promise down the drain
The PM “solving the conflict”
Background summary

There’s confusion and fear in Loliondo. Nobody seems to know exactly what’s going on, but I’ve tried to write a blog post about what’s known.

The PM’s vague and terrifying decision.
In the afternoon of 6th December, PM Majaliwa finally delivered his long awaited, and much feared, decision about the 1,500 km2 of important grazing land that Otterlo Business Corporation (OBC), that organises hunting for Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai, have spent years lobbying to have alienated for a “protected area”. The PM was to decide between a Game Controlled Area 2009, which would be a catastrophic land alienation leading to destruction of lives and livelihoods, environmental degradation and conflict with neighbours, or the compromise proposal reached by the RC’s select committee, consisting of a Wildlife Management Area, which the Loliondo Maasai had rejected for a decade and a half of pressure, since it means setting aside land for “investors”, while handing away much power over the land to the director of wildlife, the said investors, and others.

First reports in the evening were that the PM would have announced some very worrying “special WMA”, and it didn’t seem like even those who were present at the meeting in Dodoma had understood, or wanted to understand, what the PM had said. Some said it was about an expansion of Ngorongoro Conservation Area where the Maasai live under the colonial style rule of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority. A couple of very similar (copies of a brief press statement) newspaper articles the following day made things somewhat, but not much, clearer. The PM had ordered the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism to prepare a legal bill with the aim of forming a special authority to manage the 1,500 km2, even if all reports just mention “Loliondo GCA” which would be the whole 4,000 km2, to protect the ecosystem of Serengeti National Park, wildlife paths, breeding grounds and water sources, while benefitting all sides. The MP said it would be ensured that the interest of local people, their customs, traditions, and land use are considered in the legal bill that is to be rushed through so that a final draft is ready for February/March 2018, to be included in the 2018/2019 budget. A team of specialists, after going through various options, recommended this “special authority” for the broad interests of all sides, and with the aim of bringing peace and sustainable conservation to Loliondo. To some people, me included, this sounds like an all-out land grab, taking away the land from the villages to give it to a “special authority” prepared by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. Some of those who were at the meeting interpreted the PM’s – possibly intentionally - cryptic words as if the 1,500 km2 would be for “wildlife only” or very restricted grazing, the most feared outcome of all, and all clearly heard that Majaliwa said that OBC – contrary to the promises by Minister Kigwangalla - will stay even if the executive director (who apparently now has been fired) would be “investigated for corruption”.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Disconcerting News from Loliondo

In this blog post:
Rape and silence
Refugees in their own country
Ngorongoro chief conservator for “upgraded” LGCA
Council Chairman and German Pieces of Silver re-appear
What action has been taken against those responsible for the operation? (No signs of OBC packing)
Background summary

After the stopping of the long, illegal “operation” on village land in Loliondo, in which at least
250 bomas were burned to the ground, men, women and children were brutally beaten, and cattle illegally seized, and after the almost too good to be true news from the new Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism that OBC - that organise hunting for Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai and that for many years have been lobbying for turning the 1,500 km2 of important grazing land that’s their core hunting area into a “protected area”, inciting conflict and violence – will have to leave before January 2018, there is some disconcerting news from Loliondo.
This blog post has many questions and few answers, but is already getting too old and must be published. I hope there will eventually be answers.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Remembering 2013 and Kagasheki´s Lies and Threats about Loliondo

One ex-minister (7 May 2012 – 20 December 2013) of natural resources and tourism, Khamis Kagasheki, who for whatever reason was (before Maghembe’s latest period … ) the minister who with most determination and the wildest lies worked to alienate 1,500 km2 of grazing land from the Maasai of Loliondo, has complained in social media about being mentioned by Kigwangalla as “close to OBC”. He tweeted, "Waziri wa Maliasili na Utalii Hamis Kigwangalla alinukuliwa kutaja 'muwekezaji OBC' alivo na kashfa za Rushwa. Alinitaja mimi kuwa karibu na OBC. Napenda athibitishe ukaribu huo, vitalu nilivogawa nikiwa Waziri na rushwa niliyopokea"*. I’m not even sure if Kagasheki was mentioned by Kigwangalla, or just felt mentioned. He has now blocked me for replying, "After Maghembe, you are the minister who with most rabid enthusiasm has lied to fulfil the wishes of OBC of taking 1,500 km2 from the Maasai of Loliondo. I have no idea if it happened because of bribes, true love, or some convergent interests.". I thought a reminder of what happened in 2013 could be timely, especially since so many people now doubt it even if it’s very well documented! Or maybe they just don’t care, but I’ll set the record straight anyway.