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

Sunday, 29 November 2015

My article about Thomson Safaris in Third World Resurgence magazine

The new issue, with a focus on tourism, of Third World Resurgence magazine has an article that I’ve written about Thomson Safaris. It serves as the summary I should have written some time ago.

Other articles in the magazine are:
Tourism – a driver of inequality and displacement - Anita Pleumarom
Tourism and the biosphere crisis: Provisions for inter-generational care - Alison M Johnston
Rise of the aerotropolis – Rose Bridger
Tourism for women’s rights? – Albertina Almeida
The puputan struggle against the Benoa Bay reclamation project – Anton Muhajir
Tourism, the extractive industry and social conflict in Peru – Rodrigo Ruiz Rubio
Tourism and the consumption of Goa – Claude Alvares
The occidentalisation of the Everest – Vaishna Roy
The getthoisation of Palestine – tourism as a tool of oppression and resistance – Freya Higgins-Desbiolles
The bitter irony of ‘1 billion tourists – 1 billion opportunities’

Maasai fight eviction from Tanzanian community land by US-based ecotourism company

Pastoralist land in Tanzania is under threat because of commercial agriculture and conservation. In some places 'philanthropic' ecotourism companies also add to the problem.
This article focuses on a case in Loliondo.
Susanna Nordlund

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Politics and Injustice in Loliondo

There are election results.
An unbelievable unjust – but not unexpected -court ruling was delivered, and there will be an appeal.

There’s some good, some bad and some downright ugly news, and this blog post has been somewhat delayed due to confusion.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Grabbers of Pastoralist Land Join Forces and Loliondo is Misused in the Election Campaign

A partnership between AWF and Thomson Safaris has been loudly announced.
Sheikh Mohammed visited and this was used in a dishonest way in the election campaign.

Since everyone who has some information is busy with politics it's even harder than usual to obtain information from Loliondo.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Some Kind of Loliondo Update and Delayed News About Abuse in NCA

I was contacted by the worst anti-Loliondo journalist.
There was a very bad article in the Raia Tanzania
Everyone is busy with the elections.
There isn’t many news about the “investors”.
The dry season has brought serious problems with rangers, especially in areas of NCA.

I have not been able to get many updates, reportedly because everyone is busy with the coming elections and the "investors" are keeping a low profile. When I was about to publish a blog post about nothing I was informed about abuse committed by NCAA rangers in Ndutu.

I’m happy to say that my arrest report has been translated to Swahili by Evarist Chahali.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Brief Report about How I Was Arrested in Loliondo

I was locked up two nights at Loliondo police station and one night at Arusha police station.
Not allowed to contact anyone.
My computer was destroyed.
Instead of a court case I was deported to Kenya.
Then the usual journalist wrote an article full of lies about me.
Updated below.

Last week my latest trip to Loliondo – a part of the world that’s always on my mind - was cut short in a quite abrupt way when someone reported me to authorities. I wanted to meet some of the people who are not online, but who have information about the land threats caused by “investors”.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Some Good News and a Lot More Abuse and Insanity from Loliondo

More articles inciting against the Maasai of Loliondo
Fear about the anti-Kenyan operation           .
Mass arrests after extremely corrupt police were beaten by warriors at Ololosokwan market.
Youths arrested for “environmental destruction” in area where OBC are active
Demonstrations at Thomson Safaris’ PR spectacle inaugurating the Sukenya dispensary.
Excellent article about Thomson Safaris in Vice Magazine.
Attack on Kirtalo by police incited by William Alais’ investor-friendly gang.
Not too clever journalists.
Not too clever DC.
UAE Water Project. 

There have been very worrying developments, but also some promising news, and an excellent international article. As usual it’s been unreasonably difficult to get exact information.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Excellent Article about Thomson Safaris in Vice Magazine

This post was to be part of next blog update, but since that post is getting too long and too delayed due to too much happening and problems getting exact information, the article gets its own blog post. I hope to soon write about developments in Kirtalo and add that to the delayed update that also has some other important news.

On 12th May Vice Magazine uploaded an article from their May issue called, The EcotourismIndustry Is Saving Tanzania’s Animals and Threatening Its Indigenous People, and despite the title the article is entirely about Thomson Safaris’ “Enashiva Nature Refuge”. Some short videos are embedded in the article.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Betrayal and Abuse Continue in Loliondo

Nothing was done about the human rights abuse of February.
The RC came.
Kidupo kept getting worse.
A surveying team came and left.
Channel 10 attacked again.
Then Kenyans and those “helping Kenyans” were attacked.

Updates on the human rights abuse in February
The people whose houses were burned 10th-14th February did, according to reports I've got, not get any help.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

The Aggressively Litigious Thomson Safaris with their Dollars Manage to Silence a Very Important Website

An alarm against injustice has been silenced. Armed with multiple lawyers, multiple law firms Thomson Safaris set out to stop the truth from being told, and the Stop Thomson Safaris website is no more.

To keep their anonymity – for explicable reasons being based in Tanzania - the creators of the website Stop Thomson Safaris have been forced to make a settlement with the land grabbing tour operator that sued them for “defamation and tortious interference with prospective economic advantage” and used a subpoena to try to make the web host Weebly disclose their identity.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Bomas Razed by Serengeti National Park Rangers and Loliondo Administrative Police

A large number of bomas in areas of Arash and Loosoito/Maaloni have been burned by TANAPA and thousands of people left without food or shelter.

Exact details have been very difficult to come by.

The “investor-friendly”* group is worse than ever.

I should have published a blog post a week ago, but have had serious problems getting exact information. Now it has to be posted. (Updated below in purple.  It's been found that the bomas were inside the established park boundary, and some also inside another, unidentified, boundary. It has to be investigated if the unidentified boundary could have become the legal boundary.)

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Very Delayed Updates about Dangerous Divisions and Insane Incitement and in the Fight against Loliondo Land Threats

The Jamhuri continues inciting against the people of Loliondo – and is joined by other media outlets.
There have been “investor-friendly” meetings and meetings denouncing this.
Minister Nyalandu made pointless visits.
Some hearings and then postponement in the case against Thomson Safaris.
Activists are being threatened.
The MP continues showing off his uselessness.
Maybe a change for the better is on the way?

This blog post has been seriously delayed due to unreasonable difficulties in getting detailed information.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Reply to the Ministry for Natural Resources and Tourism's press release about Loliondo

“The government of United Republic of Tanzania has never had any plan to evict the Maasai people from their ancestral land

This is a patently false and untrue statement. The 1,500 square kilometres dry season grazing land in question, bordering Serengeti National Park, has already been under threat several times. This land is also the core hunting area of Otterlo Business Corporation Ltd that for two decades has held the hunting block (permit to hunt) that covers more than the whole area of Loliondo Division. The Dubai-owned OBC organizes hunting trips for the highest levels of United Arab Emirates society.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

The Nyalandu-Style Loliondo Land Grab Attempt Almost Becomes World News

The renewed 1,500km2 grab attempt finally was reported about by the press, but in a distorted way.
One Tanzanian newspaper is inciting the public against the people of Loliondo.
The same paper published a letter by the councillor for Oloipiri supporting Thomson Safaris and OBC.
Minister Nyalandu denies everything and talks about other things.
A delegation from Loliondo failed to meet the Prime Minister.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

More About the New Corridor Grab Attempt and About Thomson Safaris’ too Old Land Grab in Loliondo

Thomson Safaris have sent some of their “friends” for witness training.
The police are intimidating victims of Thomson’s violence.
There have been some meetings and a lot of silence about the Nyalandu-style land grab threat.
A document will be presented.

Thomson Safaris Land Grab
Nyalandu-styleThreat against the 1,500 km2
A Background to the Threat against 1,500 km2 of Dry Season Grazing Land

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Extremely Worrying New Attempt by the Government to Grab 1,500 km2 of Maasai Land – and Other Updates about Land Threats in Loliondo

-Thomson Safaris are back to harassing people and cattle that enter onto the land that they have grabbed.

-Good and bad news from Kakesio in NCA.

-The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism has met several times with the council chairman and also held a meeting with all councillors from affected wards. The information/threat is that the government is set on taking the land.

Friday, 29 August 2014

My Reply to Lies About Loliondo in UNWTO Handbook

I’ve come across an “International Handbook onTourism and Peace” that’s published by the Centre for Peace Research and Peace Education of the Klagenfurt University in Austria in cooperation with the United Nations World Tourism Organization. There’s a chapter in this handbook that deals with the conflict between the people of Loliondo and the government working in the interest of the “investor” OBC, but unfortunately this chapter gets some basic facts totally wrong presenting last year’s land grabbing attempt by the Ministry for Natural Resources and Tourism led by the then Minister Khamis Kagasheki as “entirely based on wisdom”! I sent an email - copied and pasted below – to the writer of the chapter and to the two editors of the handbook. This handbook was launched already in January this year with the support of the Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth and the Ministry of European and International Affairs of Austria. I’d kindly ask everyone reading this blog post to if possible share it with anyone who has read the disinformation of the handbook. I have so far only read the chapter about Loliondo and hope that the rest is not in the same vein. (Though I wouldn’t know since I only have detailed information about Loliondo…)

Email sent on Thursday 28th August 2014 22:47 “Misleading information in Handbook on Tourism and Peace‏”.

Dear Emmanuel, Cordula and Werner (writer and editors),

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

A Model for Community-Based tourism Through Violence and Dispossession – More About Thomson Safaris’ “Enashiva” in Loliondo

In memory of Moringe ole Parkipuny, sadly missed for one year now.

-There have been some meetings.
-In a meeting with the District Commissioner an agreement was made that cows and herders will no longer be harassed on the occupied land, but will graze freely.
-What happened when Olunjai Timan was shot because of Thomson Safaris’ occupation of Maasai land.
-And a reminder of what the “philanthropic” land grabber has been doing during these years.

Olunjai Timan (I’ve earlier been spelling his name “Olonjai”) left hospital returning home to Mondorosi on 16th July, one week after being shot by a policeman working for Thomson Safaris. His wound still needs regular cleaning and dressing.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Herder Shot Because of the “Philanthropic” Thomson Safaris – and Other Loliondo Land Threat News

Olonjai Timan was shot by a policeman working for Thomson Safaris.
I’m having problems getting updates about the cases against herders accused by Thomson, but am waiting to hear a sentence today (11th July).
I’m also having problems getting updates about OBC.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Another Delayed Update About the Land Grabbers of Loliondo – or who is a Kenyan?

There’s talk about a security and intelligence camp in Loliondo.
An NGO staff member was “accused” of being “Kenyan”.
In April the Boston Globe published a biased article about Thomson Safaris’ land grab.
It’s being looked into how the District Council could get out of the court case.
And Thomson Safaris again physically and judicially attack the people whose land they have taken.

This blog post is unnecessarily delayed for the usual reasons, but I’ve got some information that I can share.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Tanapa Rangers Commit Arson in Arash – and Other News about Loliondo Land Threats*

The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism issued threats against pastoralists.
Tanapa rangers burned down bomas in Arash – and no action was taken against this.
There’s a dangerous lack of unity.
Seasonal OBC worker travel to Loliondo in the middle of the rainy season.
FZS are hard at work making top recruitments to carry out their plans for Loliondo.
Thomson Safaris continue occupying Maasai land and the court case against them is ongoing.
The American organisation EarthRights lends a hand to the struggle.
Update 22nd April: on 18th April the 1782 application in Massachusetts to get access to documents about Thomson was granted and on the 22nd there was a press release.

I’ve managed to get some information after much chasing of people in possession of it. Part of it is very serious news, but almost without debate and apparently totally without action taken.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

More About the Land Grabbing “Investors” of Loliondo (and NCA)

The rains came.
Kagaheki, Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, resigned for Christmas and this was celebrated in Loliondo.
OBC isn’t doing anything at all (?)
In NCA Kakesio´s problem with the Friedkin group of companies continues and the NCAA isn’t doing much about it.
Thomson Safaris continue occupying Maasai land and presenting it as a model for community-based tourism, and again physically assault people who resist the occupation by grazing.
NGOs like Frankfurt Zoological Society and the Honeyguide Foundation excel in negative influence.

The dry season was on the way towards a catastrophe, but in early December it started raining seriously and the grass sprouted.

I’ve got some information about the latest land grabbing developments in Loliondo – and Kakesio (in NCA) – but as usual this blog post is delayed since it unfortunately takes some effort to get exact information, and some issues still have to wait to be written about.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Thomson Safaris Sue the Website Stop Thomson Safaris

Another example of the spirit of the safari company that occupies 12,617 acres of Maasai grazing land in Loliondo, violently harass the legitimate landowners and finds it appropriate to aggressively present this as a model of community-based conservation.

I’m having some annoying problems getting exact information about issues that I need to include in next blog post. Instead I’ll first write about another issue that I’ve wanted to mention for a long time and it’ll get its own post.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Good News, Strange News, Worrying Developments, Idiotic Comments and Inexplicable Silences about Loliondo Land Threats

After some months of silence central government reappeared and disappeared in Loliondo. Then the Prime Minister appeared and declared that the 1.500km2 belong to the Maasai and their coming generations thereby reversing the threats and lies by the Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism.
Long term FZS head comes out in support of the Government and OBC.
The court case against Thomson Safaris is ongoing, there’s still unity, but sinister old manager is back.
This dry season turned bad and grazing in Serengeti NP was needed. Cows and people were arrested with strange charge sheets.

After the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Khamis Kagasheki, had spent the first part of 2013 issuing threatening and bizarre statements about the Government’s intention of taking 1,500km2 of important grazing land for a “wildlife corridor” and several protest delegations from Loliondo had visited Dar es Salaam and Dodoma, the Prime Minister wrote a letter to the Arusha Regional Commissioner on 30th May and everything went quiet. Kagasheki had gone as far as calling the Maasai “landless” invaders of their own land, and saying that they were being “given” land since the Government would not take the whole of Loliondo Game Controlled Area (that in its totality is village land). The Prime Minister, in contrast, did recognise that the land does belong to the villages, but otherwise his letter wasn’t very promising since the PM did not show an understanding of the importance of this land for pastoralism. Nothing was ever heard from the Regional Commissioner about the Prime Minister’s letter.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Brief Summary of the – Hopefully Now Forever Stopped – Plan of Grabbing 1,500km2 from the Maasai of Loliondo

The Government of Tanzania has repeatedly declared interest in taking 1,500km2 of important dry season grazing land bordering Serengeti National Park from the Maasai of Loliondo and Sale divisions of Ngorongoro District.

Under the provisions of the Village Land Act No 5 of 1999 – and under customary land tenure since as long as can be remembered - this land belongs to the villagers of Ololosokwan, Soitsambu, Oloipiri, Oloirien, Maaloni, Arash, Malambo and Piyaya – and the land is also of vital seasonal importance for pastoralists beyond the borders of these villages. The loss of this land would signify the destruction of tens of thousands of lives and livelihoods.