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.