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. See below (in purple).

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
Treason
“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.

NCA.

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.