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.

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.