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.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Good news from Loliondo: Director of Wildlife Sacked and OBC to be Investigated for Bribery

Wannabe land grabbers fight back
Sensational online news report
Totally new view on Loliondo for a minister
Doubts removed
Who’s next?
The shadow
The background

Minister Kigwangalla has made unprecedented statements about Loliondo.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Loliondo Back to Waiting for Majaliwa, but there’s a Chance to Get Rid of OBC

The crime
The confessions of crime
Leading up to the crime
The big inciter
Complicity in crime
OBC are not alone
The victims’ ally?
Failure to act against the crime
Ordering the crime
Why was Maghembe fired?
Between hope and despair
Shooting cows
26th October
Sensational news
Visit by the new deputy minister for livestock

The new Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Hamisi Kigwangalla, on 26th October in a public meeting in Wasso stopped the illegal operation by rangers that have committed arson, brutal physical assault and illegal seizing of cattle on village land. I don’t understand why this operation started on 13th August, and I don’t understand exactly why it was stopped. On 27th October in Ololosokwan, Kigwangalla said that OBC’s hunting block won’t be renewed, which is sensational news indeed if implemented.

Updates at the end.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

The Human Rights Criminal Maghembe is Out! Good Riddance for Loliondo! What’s Next? There are Very Worrying signs…

Maghembe and the two committees
The arson attack and human rights crime
The MNRT spokesperson
Press meeting in Ololosokwan
OBC’s report
Where’s Kigwangalla?
Kigwangalla's letter...
The Jamhuri again.
In a cabinet reshuffle on 7th October Jumanne Maghembe was removed as Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, and not given another ministry. This is cause for celebration, even though the reason for his removal isn’t clear, and the views of the new minister aren’t (weren’t?) known, while the spokesperson for the ministry continues in the worst Maghembe-like way. As usual this blog post is delayed, and the previous one has updates. Today, on 19th October, Kigwangalla sadly issued a letter with the “investor’s” own favourite diversionary tactic…

Updated under "Kigwangalla's letter". There is some good news. 

As mentioned earlier in this blog, many Tanzanian ministers for natural resources and tourism have been very accommodating to the wishes of Otterlo Business Corporation (OBC) that organises hunting for Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai – but Maghembe takes the prize, even bypassing Kagasheki, as OBC’s most fervent friend.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Human Rights Crimes Following Illegal Evictions Continue in Loliondo Despite Stop Order

The human rights crime continues after the interim stop order by CHRAGG.

Rangers have sold illegally seized cattle.

Outrageously malicious lies by Minister Maghembe.

And outrageously delayed action.

Court case finally filed by the villages in the East African Court of Justice.

This blog post is outrageously delayed as well since I wanted to report about the court case, that’s been delayed, and then filed, but silenced for reasons that vary according to who you ask. Now it’s allowed to mention it... The previous, now old, blog post has some updates.

Updated below (Minister Maghembe was fired on 7th October!).
What could not be allowed to happen again, happened, and like in 2009 the Maasai in western Loliondo division of Ngorongoro district again suffered a violent and illegal arson attack. From 13th to 26th August 2017 hundreds of bomas were burned to the ground by rangers from Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area assisted by local Loliondo police – and others, namely OBC and KDU (anti-poaching, close to OBC) rangers - and thousands of people were left without food or shelter. Cows were dispersed during this extreme drought, and there was terror and panic everywhere. The arson started in the Oloosek area of Ololosokwan village where a Serengeti ranger had shot the herder Parmoson Ololoso* in both legs and one arm on 8th August, and then the arson continued all the way to Piyaya 90 km further south. People returning after the illegal evictions were brutally beaten by the rangers and some arrested and sent to Mugumu at the other side of Serengeti National Park. Cattle were seized and big fines demanded. All this did not happen in any protected area, but on village land that per Village Land Act No.5 of 1999 should be managed by the local villages. The affected villages are Ololosokwan, Kirtalo (Soitsambu ward), Oloipiri, Olorien, Oloosoitok (Maaloni ward), Maaloni, Arash, Ormanie (Arash ward), and Piyaya.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

How Could Massive Human Rights Crime Happen Again in Loliondo and Why is There Such Silence?

Statement from the Ministry for Natural Resources and Tourism and the Minister’s own totally conflicting statements
OBC’s ministers
The Germans
The operation to silence everyone
The leaders
Who is responsible for this human rights crime?
Oloosek 13th August

The text has updates in purple. Find updates in the introduction, under "OBC's ministers", and under "the leaders".
From 13th to 26th August 2017 hundreds of Maasai bomas (homesteads) were illegally burned to ashes in Loliondo and Sale divisions of Ngorongoro District, Tanzania, from Ololosokwan village in the north to Piyaya 90 km further south. Hundreds of families suffered loss of property and were left without food or shelter, and an unknown number of cattle was dispersed during this severe drought, it’s not yet known how many people have been illegally arrested and taken to Mugumu, at the other side of Serengeti National Park, during the operation, and the arrests of people and cattle continue up to date. Hundreds of cows are have been illegally detained at Oloosek, and kept at Klein's gate without food or water, and many have died. Many people have been severely beaten, including a 9-year old girl and a 12-year old boy who were beaten unconcious (no confirmed shooting after the operation started).The extent of the fear and panic can’t be imagined. This human rights crime is being committed on the ground by rangers from Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area, assisted by local Loliondo police. All the bomas were situated on village land per Village Land Act No.5 of 1999, which means the land is owned and managed by the residents of local villages and isn’t any kind of protected area. The attack is a quite unexpected repeat of the extrajudicial evictions of 2009. On 3 September rangers keep seizing cattle at Oloosek, destroying temporary shelters that the victims have put up, and preventing access to water. Oloosek in Ololosokwan village is a very attractive corridor of land between OBC’s camp and the Klein’s area.
Data is being compiled. 

On 4th September the government organ CHRAGG issued an interim order to stop the evictions, and demanded that the government explain the operation. It was communicated on the 5th. This is a result of the work of Onesmo Olengurumwa of Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition.

On 7th September the victims of the illegal evictions were still being beaten and arrested as before CHRAGG’s interim stop order. In Oloosek in Ololosokwan, Engare Oodare river and nearby places like Empirbir, in Endashata, Ololosokwan, and also areas of Kirtalo like Mambarashani (where OBC have their airfield), and Kitumidet and Ileken near Mambarashani people are beaten when returning, which is in complete violation of  the interim stop order. The same day, the 7th, the rangers tried to humiliate some men who were washing in Engare Oodare river, and they seized 90 calves. On the 8th they were beating up some young herders. I haven’t heard any reports about beatings on the 9th. Those arrested in Mugumu were released on bail on the 7th.  Two young warriors were arrested in Arash and taken to Mugumu, and on the 13th 20 more people were arrested, and more cows seized...

On 16th September, I got reports about beating and arrests in Piyaya, but haven’t been able to obtain confirmed details. On the 17th more cows were seized in Ending'ting near Ang'at Endek in Ololosokwan.
On Monday 18th September, the rangers sold off illegally seized cattle at Klein’s gate! The beatings continued and Parketuyan Toroge was sent to hospital in Mugumu in critical condition.I should have written a new blog post long ago, but am waiting for some delayed information.

On 21st September KDU rangers (anti-poaching, close to OBC) were beating up people in  areas around Oserosopia and Olangawuas, near the Kenyan border.

Saturday, 19 August 2017


To any Tanzanian or international organisation or individual who can do or say anything against the ongoing human rights crime in Loliondo:

Posted 30 August: How Could Massive Human Rights Crime Happen Again in Loliondo and Why is There Such Silence?

In Loliondo, Ngorongoro District, Tanzania there are currently ongoing extrajudicial evictions of the Maasai pastoralists in a 1,500 km2 area. This is the same as the human rights abuse that took place in 2009 and a repeat at this moment was very unexpected.

On Sunday 13th August rangers from Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area together with the police set fire to bomas (homesteads) in the Oloosek area of Ololosokwan village. The following days the illegal operation has continued to several other areas inside the 1,500 km2, from Ololosokwan in the north to Piyaya 90 kilometres further south, hundreds of bomas (homesteads) have been burned to the ground, and the operation continues.

All the affected areas are classified as village land and should be managed by the villages as per Village Land Act No.5 of 1999 and Local Government (District Authority) Act No.7 of 1982.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Illegal Arson Attack in Loliondo – Rangers Say that They Have Started an Operation to Evict the Maasai from the 1,500 km2 Osero

An illegal eviction operation has begun in Loliondo.

While writing I was informed that five houses containing 12 families had been set on fire in the Oloosek area of Ololosokwan and rangers say that they will continue evicting people in other areas.

This post is written urgently to inform anyone who can help. I hope to soon have more detailed information.

Update: the arson continues on Monday, 14th August, Tuesday, 15th August, Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th August. According to the Ministry for Natural Resources and Tourism, and the DC, the insane and illegal operation will go on for 14 days.See below (in purple).


Posted 30 August: How Could Massive Human Rights Crime Happen Again in Loliondo and Why is There Such Silence?

Saturday, 22 July 2017

What does the Government want in Loliondo? – Still Waiting

Parliament 23-24 May
The Kidupo director
The Jamhuri again
The turn of events in the NCA
Summary for newcomers

In memory of Moringe Parkipuny, today missed for four years.
This blog has been silent for too long and it’s partly because Loliondo is waiting for Prime Minister Majaliwa to say something about the 1,500 km2 that the “investor” OBC, some journalists, and parts of the Tanzanian government, notably the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, want alienated for a protected area. On 20th April the report by Arusha RC Mrisho Gambo’s select committee – that had been targeted by the PM to find a “solution” - was finally handed over to PM Majaliwa. Then silence and waiting has apparently been the mood in Loliondo. Strangely, the report hasn’t been made public, but it’s known that it recommends a Wildlife Management Area (WMA, a protected area that still is village land) as the way forward to “solve the conflict”, which is a kind of defeat, that due to the seriousness of the situation has been seen as a victory, when the Maasai of Loliondo have managed to reject a WMA for a decade and a half since it would give more power to “investors” and the Director of Wildlife, while grazing land would have to be vacated for the “investor”.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Land Threat in Loliondo is at a Critical Point

Parliamentary Standing Committee co-opted by Minister Maghembe
German money used to press for land grab
Women’s manifestation
He RC’s committee was marking “critical areas” and meeting protests
Crying everywhere
Then the RC’s committee proposed a WMA
Summary for newcomers at the end.

In Loliondo the committee tasked by PM Majaliwa and led by Arusha RC Gambo has continued its work to “solve the land conflict”, and it’s come up with a proposal.  This so-called conflict is over 1,500 km2 of grazing land next to Serengeti National Park, that belongs to the villages per Village Land Act 1999 and is wanted for a “protected area” (not protected from hunting) by the hunters from Dubai known as OBC (Otterlo Business Corporation) that through the years have come up with different schemes to achieve this with the at times, or most of the time, devoted support from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. If achieved, such a land alienation would lead to destruction of lives and livelihoods, and to increased conflict, since the Maasai of Loliondo very obviously must go somewhere. As mentioned in previous blog posts, while the RC’s committee was at work, Maghembe, the Minister for National Resources and Tourism, made statements that the 1,500 km2 Osero (bushland) had to be taken, and he parroted all OBC’s arguments. Meanwhile, the dry season has been catastrophic, but is ending, OBC’s most admiring journalist kept up his hate speech until the past weeks when he’s been unusually quiet and then returned with more of the same, the Serengeti National Park Authority has been placing beacons on village land, a threatening letter was sent by the PM’s secretary and then revoked by another letter, there have been many meetings, and then a strangely behaving Parliamentary Standing Committee has visited, and the RC’s committee has been marking “critical areas”. Fear and confusion increased very sharply. Then a WMA was proposed.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Plans to Evict the Maasai of Loliondo Continue

Maghembe and Manyerere continue their work for OBC
“Fake letter” scare
Meeting in Loosoito
Malicious prosecution dismissed
SENAPA attacks from the other flank
The committee and the PM - maybe good news?

Updated at the end.
As mentioned earlier, after the wave in July 2016 of illegal arrests and malicious prosecution that had the aim of silencing anyone who could speak up, and after the short rainy season failed to prevent a drought even worse than the one in 2009, those lobbying for the confiscation of 1,500 km2 of village land (land under control of village governments responsible to village assemblies, comprised of all village residents of 18 years and above, with the main purpose of securing customary land rights), which make up the critically important grazing land next to Serengeti National Park, increased their aggression with a “report”. This report was officially prepared by the hunters from Dubai, Otterlo Business Corporation, (OBC), and Prime Minister Majaliwa tasked Arusha Regional Commissioner Gambo with setting up a committee to “solve the land conflict.” Despite the Prime Minister's selection of the Arusha RC to resolve the land dispute, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Jumanne Maghembe, appeared in Loliondo on 25th January and, along with “journalist” Manyerere Jackton, who has written well over thirty inflammatory articles against the Maasai of Loliondo, declared that the land had to be taken before the end of March.  This made the ward councillors of Ngorongoro District issue a statement protesting Minister Maghembe’s unsolicited declaration and calling for him to immediately stop his plan for the vacating of ownership of the 1,500 km2.  The councillors stressed that he should stop stirring up conflict, as it was interfering in the process initiated by the Prime Minister to find a lasting solution that will benefit people, conservation and “investors”.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Minister Maghembe Declares War on the Maasai of Loliondo

The dry season became catastrophic.
There were more meetings by the RC’s committee.
Herders were shot by Senapa rangers.
The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism made a declaration that the land had to be taken - flanked by OBC’s journalists.
The councillors protested the minister’s declaration.
The situation is terrifying.

Updated below.
The dry season continued in January turning into a drought described as worse than the one of 2009. Cows are dying and people are gravely affected physically and mentally.  

The RC and the Committee
The Arusha Regional Commissioner Mrisho Gambo returned on 16th January to, as ordered by Prime Minister Majaliwa, together with the committee – consisting of representatives of government organs. “investors”, conservation organisations, NGOs, women and youths, and local political, traditional and religious leaders - continue “finding a solution” to the conflict over 1,500 km2 of village land next to Serengeti National Park that the hunters from Dubai, OBC, and representatives from some ministries want to turn into a protected (not from hunting) area and thereby evict the Maasai that already lost land with the creation of the national park.  Hopes were high that the RC would be on the side of the people. On the 16th, OBC’s “report” (that I still haven’t got hold of) about the environmental necessity of the Game Controlled Area 2009 was presented and got support from TAWIRI, parastatal within the Ministry for Natural Resources and Tourism. The problem with unmonitored big game hunting by foreign millionaires was apparently not addressed, among other elephants in the room, and OBC’s Isaack Mollel could arrogantly extend himself on talk about OBC’s contributions to the District and the community.  

Saturday, 7 January 2017

The Campaign for a 1,500 km2 Land Grab and Eviction in Loliondo has Failed for Now

Fortunately, PM Majaliwa did not follow OBC’s and its journalists’ call for eviction from the 1,500 km2.

Sadly, the rule of terror was not addressed, other than indirectly approvingly.

OBC’s most devoted journalist was both happy and very unhappy

Dogs ate bushpig on occupied land.


The outrageously malicious prosecution was postponed again, under threat.

Edit: the situation has worsened and a new blog post is on the way.

As so often is the case, this blog post is far too delayed, and I now have to publish it without some details I was searching for.

A very brief summary about the 1,500 km2 for any new readers:
All land in Loliondo is village land per Village Land Act nr.5 of 1999, and more than the whole of Loliondo is also a Game Controlled Area where OBC has the hunting block. Stan Katabalo – maybe Tanzania’s last investigative journalist - reported about how this hunting block was acquired in the early 90s.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Vicious Media Campaign for the Renewal of the 1,500 km2 Land Grab Threat in Loliondo

The editor of the Mtanzania and the RAI, Masyaga Matinyi, is apparently the new media spokesperson for OBC.

Update since next blog post is delayed: PM Majaliwa did not declare any land grab and recognised the village land, but did not in any way speak up against the rule of terror.

Vicious media campaign and aborted visit by the PM
On 17th November the RAI newspaper published an article, Pori tengefu Loliondo lishushwe daraja (I), - presented as information for the government, conservation stakeholders and Tanzanians - inciting against the people of Loliondo and praising OBC in the usual style, so well-known from Manyerere Jackton’s over 20 articles in the Jamhuri – lying that Loliondo is a “protected” area threatened by cattle – many from Kenya – and agriculture, mentioning Karkamoru with its proximity to OBC¨s camp as a particularly bad example, and describing the Emirati hunters as involved in development and conservation. The writer claims that the government has failed to implement the Wildlife Conservation Act of 2009 in Loliondo, conveniently forgetting how this Act makes it clear that the new kind of Game Controlled Area that’s a protected area can’t overlap with village land, which is what all land in Loliondo is classified as, and intents at imposing this kind of GCA have been stopped. This article does not add the usual wilfully demented and delusional talk about who would be “benefitting from destroying the Serengeti ecosystem”, but it was only “part one”. The version available online doesn’t show the “journalist’s” name, but the editor of the Mtanzania and the RAI, Masyaga Matinyi, had in a chat on 4th November, between editors of media houses and President Magufuli, posed a question about a very big threat against conservation that “a person in Loliondo” … had told him about the previous day, and that consisted of 800,000 (!) cattle – many from Kenya – entering Serengeti National Park. Some very trustworthy people viewed the president’s reply positively, since he talked about the lack of meat processing plants making it impossible for pastoralists the reduce their herds, but before that Magufuli said that allowing grazing in Ngorongoro and “Serengeti” (the latter obviously not allowed) was something “temporary”, and appointing generals to TANAPA showed what the government wanted to do, which was followed by laughter from part of the audience. I found this spine-chilling, but could have missed something due to my limited Swahili. At least Magufuli seems not to have understood that the question was about Loliondo and, as the following article showed, at the service of the “investor”. This was not the first time for the RAI newspaper.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

More about Lawlessness in Loliondo

More illegal arrests and malicious prosecution.

Cows detained and owners extorted.

Visits by big people.

Too much silence.

As the update to the previous blog post says, the bizarre espionage and sabotage case against four people accused of having been in contact with me was postponed until 17th October. The Public Prosecutor, despite of having been ordered by the Court to deliver complainant statement according to section 9 (3) of Criminal Procedure, failed to deliver this, but the case will come on 17th October 2016 to see the status of the prosecution case. There’s an agreement that this case needs to be conducted on speed. It would be helpful to have media present in the court room. Who can make some journalists go to Loliondo?

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Repression Against Land Rights Activists in Loliondo is Worse Than Ever

The past month there have been several illegal arrests of pastoralist human rights defenders in Loliondo division of Ngorongoro District, Tanzania – where foreign investors threaten land rights – and four people have been charged with baseless charges. Even a lawyer assisting these victims of ridiculous, but very dangerous, malicious prosecution has been targeted. Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition is calling for wider condemnation of the ongoing harassment.

Update 2 September: The case was postponed until 17th October.
The Public Prosecutor despite of having been ordered by the Court to deliver complainant statement according to section 9 (3) of Criminal Procedure , failed to  deliver this, but the case will come on 17th October 2016 to see the status of the prosecution case. There’s an agreement that this case needs to be conducted on speed.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Amidst Total Breakdown of Rule of Law in Loliondo the ”Journalist” Manyerere Jackton Resorts to Further Defamation in the Jamhuri

The Loliondo "investors’" personal "journalist" Manyerere Jackton has written yet another "article" full of lies and misinformation, this time trying to defame the Member of Parliament for Ngorongoro (William Olenasha) by linking him to me, and then he repeats the Kagasheki-style 1,500 km land grab threat. He’s doing this while enjoying his own participation in illegal arrests and ill-treatment of innocent people with the aim of silencing voices crying for justice in Loliondo. 

By now, Manyerere Jackton has written over twenty articles inciting against the Maasai of Loliondo, going to the extreme of claiming that 70 percent of Loliondo Maasai are “Kenyan” by nationality, and publishing lists of private individuals that allegedly have this nationality. Exactly like the Loliondo “investors”, Manyerere attempts to underrate the realities of land dispossession in Loliondo as something trivial, simulated and stirred up by “corrupt” non-government organisations. Last year I was illegally arrested in Loliondo and following my arrest, Manyerere also wrote several “articles” containing baseless and shameless lies about me.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Multiple Illegal Arrests of Innocent People in Loliondo for the Sole Sake of Intimidation

Help is needed.

updates at the end.
Clinton Eng’wes Kairung – secondary school teacher from Kirtalo, working in Digodigo - was arrested on 13th July, and was then out (temporarily) on 15th July. Clinton is my friend and the purported reason for this arrest was having met me in Olpusimoru, Kenya, which obviously isn’t a crime in any way. As usual, coordination and information sharing has left a lot to be desired. Clinton was arrested again on 19th July.

Supuk Maoi – secondary school teacher working in Loliondo - was arrested on 14th July and continues locked up. Also his arrest is said to have to do with me. I have not met Supuk during my recent trip to Kenya. Unlike Clinton, Supuk often speaks up publicly and online about various Loliondo issues.

Monday, 11 July 2016

“Mwandishi” anayeihujumu Loliondo - Manyerere Jackton amkejeli tena Susanna Nordlund kwenye gazeti la Jamhuri

Mtafsiri: Innocent Zephania
Manyerere Jackton, ambaye mpaka sasa ameshaandika makala zaidi ya ishirini kuwatuhumu Wamasai wa Loliondo akidai kwamba ni waharibifu kutoka Kenya ambao asasi yao ya kiraia inawavuruga wawekezaji, hivi sasa ameandika tena kuhusu mimi… Ni Manyerere huyu huyu ambaye mwanzoni alikwenda mbali zaidi akidai kwamba zaidi ya asilimia 70 ya watu wa Loliondo ni ‘Wakenya’ na kwa kutaka kuthibitisha hilo, akachapisha orodha ya majina aliyodai ni ya ‘Wakenya’ hao. Msingi hasa wa makala yake, kabla ya hii ya sasa aliyoandika kuhusu mimi, makala aliyoiandika katika Gazeti la Jamhuri, June 15, 2016 yenye kichwa cha habari “Atuzwa kwa kuisumbua Serikali” (akiwa ameshirikiana na watu wawili wanaosadikika kuwa walarushwa wakubwa wa Loliondo) ni kutaka kumchafua mwanaharakati Maanda Ngoitiko tena kwa kutumia hoja za kizushi na za kuunganisha unganisha kuhusu namna ambavyo anadai nimefanya kazi chini ya asasi ya mwanaharakati huyu kitu ambacho sijawahi kufanya kwa namna yeyote ile, na hata kama ningekuwa nimeisaidia kwa namna nyingine, Je hilo sio jambo jema? Kilichotokea katika makala yake ya mwisho ni kwamba, Hashim Shaibu Mgandilwa - asiye na uadilifu, aliyekuwa mkuu wa wilaya - ni lazima angepokea maombi yangu kwa ufupi kuhusu kubatilisha hadhi ya marufuku ya kusafiri (prohibited immigrant status), kwa Waziri wa mambo ya ndani aliyejiuzulu Kitwanga kisha apeleke kwa mwandishi huyu anayeipinga Loliondo. Akiwa katika mtandao wa kijamii, kwa kejeli, Hashim Shaibu Mgandilwa akaniambia “nimesikia unataka unataka ku revoke PI njoo nikusaidie” na kwa muda mfupi sana baada ya kuniandikia hivyo, Manyerere Jackton naye akanitumia barua pepe ikiwa na ujumbe wa kitoto unaoishia na maneno haya “Finally, you will know who is the worst journalist and who is the worst mzungu!” kumaanisha kwamba “Mwishowe utapata kujua kwamba yupi ni mwandishi mbaya sana  na yupi ni mzungu mbaya sana” huku akiwa ameambatanisha na nakala ya barua yangu ya kwanza niliyowahi kutuma kuomba kubatilishiwa marufuku ya kusafiri (prohibited immigrant status). Angeweza kupata pia vielelezo vyangu vingine kuhusu maombi yangu kwa kina, lakini kwa kuwa ni mvivu pia au labda hakutaka basi hakuweza kufanya hivyo. Katika makala yake toleo la mtandaoni, makala ambayo haina hata jina la mwandishi - Manyerere alidai kwamba ni kutokana na “uchunguzi” uliofanywa na Gazeti la Jamhuri, hatimaye wamefichua hayo maombi yangu ya kutaka kubatilishiwa...

Sunday, 10 July 2016

The Anti-Loliondo ”Journalist” Manyerere Jackton Again Defames this Blogger in the Jamhuri

Manyerere Jackton, who by now has written over twenty articles inciting against the Maasai of Loliondo as destructive “Kenyans” whose NGOs harass beneficial investors, has again written about me… Manyerere has earlier gone to the extreme of claiming that 70 percent of the population of Loliondo is “Kenyan” and published lists of names of supposed “Kenyans”. His latest piece was to, together with the two most corrupt persons in Loliondo, engage in defamation of the activist Maanda Ngoitiko, adding “fantasies” about how I would have worked for her NGO (I wish…). The occasion for the latest article is that the unbelievably incompetent, now ex-DC, Hashim Shaibu Mgandilwa must have got my first, and as advised, brief request for revocation of my prohibited immigrant status, to ex-minister Kitwanga, and then sent it to the anti-Loliondo “journalist”. The ex-DC was in social media sarcastically telling me “nimeskia unataka unataka ku revoke PI njoo nikusaidie” and shortly after did Manyerere Jackton email me my first letter requesting revocation, together with his rather juvenile comments ending with, “Finally, you will know who is the worst journalist and who is the worst mzungu!”. He would have had some more material with my more detailed request, but since he’s also lazy, maybe he doesn’t want it. In the recent article – that at least in the online version doesn’t even carry the “journalist’s” name – Manyerere claims that it’s “investigations” by the Jamhuri that have revealed my request for revocation…

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Much Silence from Loliondo and then Extreme Defamation in the Jamhuri

A good man passed away.
There was an appeal hearing.
OBC donated school desks.
The worst of the worst joined up for defamation.

I haven’t posted any new blog post in a very long time, and the reason is that obtaining information is harder than ever. Some are corrupted and many – maybe all - are intimidated. Others say that things are calm and the “investors” aren’t doing anything at the moment. When a new Jamhuri “article” appeared in mid-June I had urgent reasons to write, but have been delayed due to travelling and mostly waiting in vain for help with information.
First some short other news.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Brief and Delayed News about more Vicious Incitement and Charity as a Weapon

Meeting about land in February.
The Jamhuri attacked insanely again.
OBC had guests.
Big propaganda number with donation to hospital.

As mentioned in this blog, in January there was the most horrible media incitement against Kirtalo, after the DC took journalists there and lied to them that people would have “invaded” their own land cultivating, and that obvious village land would be some kind of “investor area” or “protected area” – which the “journalists” readily reported. OBC’s own DC Hashim Mgandilwa announced that there would be a meeting on 18th January. The incitement died down, and since the local leaders weren’t ready, there never was a meeting.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

A personal view on the book Selling the Serengeti by Ben Gardner

There have been some developments in Loliondo that I need to blog about when I’ve got enough information, but first I have a book to write about.

A book of great interest to this blog has been published: Selling the Serengeti: The Cultural Politics of Safari Tourism by associate professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington Bothell, Benjamin Gardner. In spite of the title, the focus of this book is exclusively on the Loliondo Maasai and the different “investors” that are using, and in the worst case, claiming ownership to Maasai land.

Selling the Serengeti is not a report about what has happened, but rather something like an analysis of how the different actors are presented, or present themselves and their relation to the land, and how it affects the Maasai’s struggle to control their land. The book situates this in relation to earlier research, like that of Rod Neumann, Doreen Massey and Stuart Hall (which makes the list of books I need to get hold of longer and more expensive). Some important pieces of the story are left out, while others are closely examined.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Karkamoru is Threatened Again

The DC has visited Karkamoru in Kirtalo together with journalists.
Media has spread misinformation.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

OBC - Hunters from Dubai and the Threat against 1,500 km2 of Maasai Land in Loliondo

It’s been some time since I wrote a summary about OBC and the 1,500 km2, a lot has happened, and there has been much misinformation, mostly from government and “investors”, but unfortunately also from well-meaning quarters.

Very short version:
OBC have been hunting in Loliondo since 1993.
There were extrajudicial evictions in 2009 from the sought-after 1,500 km2 next to Serengeti National Park. People eventually moved back.
In 2011 a draft district land use plan – funded by OBC – proposed turning the 1,500 km2 into a protected area. This was strongly rejected by the district council.
In 2013 Minister Kagasheki made statements threatening to take the 1,500 km2. The threat was revoked by the PM, who said the land belonged to the Maasai that should continue their lives as before. This promise has not been put in writing.
After 2013 there haven’t been any open official statements from the Tanzanian government announcing any interest in grabbing land in Loliondo.
There have however been alleged threats in closed meetings, and a media campaign against the Maasai of Loliondo. A written declaration from the government is needed, and so is continued vigilance. 

The sections of this blog post are:
Loliondogate in the 90s
New Millennium
The Extrajudicial Evictions in 2009
The District Land Use Plan Revealed in 2011
Kagasheki’s Horrible and Twisted Threat in 2013
The Confusion in 2014