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.

The beginning
On 27 January 2013, the then Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Khamis Kagasheki, held several “stakeholders’” meetings in Loliondo. He did not grasp the fundamental question of, “Whose land is it?”, but only saw conflict among “stakeholders” – especially so-called “investors”, “communities” (the people who depend on the land for their lives and livelihoods), and government. His key idea was for “investors” to work together forming an association. He also made a threat warning that if things would not go well he might be compelled to ban all human activities in the area. OBC – that organise hunting for Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai and have kept getting renewals of the hunting blocks in Loliondo since 1992 (but will now hopefully have to leave before January 2018) were represented at this meeting by the general manager Isaack Mollel, and professional hunter Mohamed Horsley who portrayed to be a spokesperson for wild animals. 

The last weekend of February 2013 Kagasheki returned to Loliondo with the message that the Game Controlled Area as per Wildlife Conservation Act of 2009 was the best “solution” for Loliondo. In the worst Orwellian way, the Minister explained to the media that in fact the Maasai were “landless” and would now be “given” the land that they already had, and which was classified as village land – except for the 1,500 km2 “corridor” that would “remain under government control”. The condition for this “offer” would be that the community should form a Wildlife Management Area (which they never had wanted). The move was described as “addressing historical injustices”. Unfortunately, journalists present lacked the necessary background information or will, to realize that in fact the historical injustice was about to happen if this move would be realized.  

Kagasheki would keep repeating these lies in every statement – together with OBC’s lies about who’s speaking up for land rights in Loliondo - until he was stopped.

The facts
The Maasai of Loliondo already lost considerable land in 1958 with the creation of Serengeti National Park. Loliondo Game Controlled Area was also declared in the 1950s and it regulated hunting without interfering with local people’s activities. With the Wildlife Conservation Act of 1974 that regulated hunting in all of Tanzania the function of the LGCA changed to limiting the borders of hunting blocks, and OBC’s hunting block is the whole of the 4,000 km2 Loliondo CGA, which is more than the whole of Loliondo division and includes, among other areas, agricultural land, forest, the two “towns” of Wasso and Loliondo, the DC’s office and Wasso Hospital. This is what Kagasheki pretended would be a “protected area” that the Maasai would have “invaded”, in which case also the DC would have “invaded” with his office in Loliondo Town. People like Kagasheki (and later Maghembe) base their lies on the Wildlife Conservation Act of 2009 that came into effect in 2010 and in which GCAs are protected areas, exactly like game reserves. Though this act also says that village land and GCA can’t overlap and that “within twelve months of coming into operation of this act and after consultation of the relevant authorities, review the list of game controlled areas for ascertaining potentially justifying continuation of control of any such area”. Therefore, OBC funded a draft District Land Use Plan that proposed turning the 1,500 km2 of important grazing land on which they hunt (there isn’t much wildlife around the DC office …) into the new kind of GCA, and thereby evict the Maasai that depend on this land. This irregular (it didn’t involve the concerned villages) plan was strongly rejected by Ngorongoro District Council since it would have led to destruction of livelihoods, environmental degradation and increased conflict with neighbours.
All land in Loliondo is village land per section 7(1) of the Village Land Act No. 5 of 1999 since it fulfils the following definitions - one definition being sufficient to qualify as village land.
-Land within the boundaries of villages registered according to the Local Government
(District Authorities) Act, 1982.
-Land demarcated as village land under any administrative procedure or in accord with any statutory or customary law.
-General land that villagers have been using for the twelve years preceding the enactment of the Village Land Act, 1999. This includes land customarily used for grazing cattle or
passage of cattle (TNRF, 2011).

In 2009 there were extrajudicial, very illegal, evictions from OBC's area of interest, and the Field Force Unit burned down bomas and dispersed livestock into an extreme drought area. 7-year old Nashipai Gume was lost in the chaos and hasn’t been found, ever since. The rejected draft district land use plan from 2010-2011 was a failed attempt to repeat the same in a legal way, and in 2013 Kagasheki worked for the same alienation of the 1,500 km2 osero via shameless lies that taking this important grazing land was “giving” the Maasai 2,500 km2 that they – and others – already had.

The twisted statements and the resistance
On 21 March, after a brief meeting in Arusha with top district leaders, Minister Kagasheki showed up again in Loliondo. Local leaders had got information that Kagasheki was sent by the president to announce that the 1,500 km2 corridor would be taken by the government as a Game Controlled Area 2009 to “protect wildlife and water catchments”. The local leaders refused to enter the district council conference hall to join the Minister. Instead they demanded that he should answer questions from people outside the hall. Kagasheki suspended the meeting and took off to Arusha in a fury. The leaders and other citizens who were around waiting for the minister talked to the media to express their views on the matter. Ololosokwan ward councillor Yannick Ndoinyo told journalists, “We are not ready to surrender even one meter of our land to investors for whatever reason” and several other leaders had the same message.

Thousands of people met in Oloipiri on 25 March 2013 and decided to stay united, end any involvement with OBC and, soon after the government had announced the land to be taken away from them, initiate a court case with an injunction plus a reclaim of Serengeti National Park. Also, all political leaders, including the MP, would resign from their posts. This was the highest point of seriousness by Loliondo leader, but unfortunately, they didn’t keep it up.

Finally, on 26 March 2013 in Dar es Salaam Kagasheki announced publicly to journalists that the government would take over the corridor of important grazing land. In the wording of the minister, he again … lied that the government was “keeping” 1,500 km2 and the people of Loliondo would be “given” 2,500 km2 where they would be “helped” to establish WMAs. He added that, “There will be no compromise with regard to any attempt to infringe the newly established borders”. The Minister also warned NGOs and so-called “Kenyans” (the standard accusation by “investors” and their “friends” against Loliondo activists is to call them “Kenyans”, and to pretend that there are “over 30” NGOs when there were two NGOs speaking up for land rights until they were intimidated into silence in 2016) about inciting the Maasai (Daily News, 27 March 2013).

On 1 April 2013 (and I wish it would have been an April Fool’s joke), a press statement from the Ministry for Natural Resources and Tourism titled “Ufafanuzi Kuhusu Tamko la Waziri Kagasheki Kuhusu Eneo la Pori Tengefu la Loliondo”, was released signed by the spokesman George Matiko – followed on the 7th by a somewhat differently worded version in English signed by the minister himself. These statements – again - insisted on the lies that Loliondo Game Controlled Area was a protected area that “landless” people had “invaded” and that the government had taken the decision of reducing the LGCA “to provide land to the growing landless population in the area”. The 1,500 km2 had to “remain” LGCA to protect breeding grounds, migration corridors and water catchments. The Swahili version added that 25% of the country was protected areas “without conflict”! This version also contained the usual talk by the “friends of investors” that the problem in Loliondo was caused by NGOs, many led by “foreigners” (of course without naming such supposed “foreigners”) whose “secret agendas” (has anyone ever spoken up for justice in Tanzania without being accused of having a “secret” or “hidden” agenda?) had already been exposed. (MNRT, 2013).

A big meeting was planned for 2 April in Wasso, but it turned into a disappointment. Most councillors had abandoned the resignation promises. There was no declaration made since the meeting had not got a permit… CCM party cards were left littering the ground. Though the following days several meetings were held in Wasso and elsewhere. 

In the midst of this crisis Ngorongoro MP Telele left for China as a member of an investor-wooing delegation - led by the Director of Tourism of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. Telele was removed in 2015, and it was thought that his successor would never behave in the same way.

On 4 April, several Tanzanian land and human rights organisations issued a joint press statement setting the record straight about the laws governing the 1,500 km2 and about Kagasheki’s very deliberate attempt to mislead the public. The statement also emphasised that it is OBC that is endangering the environment by its hunting practices and illegal constructions. 

Around a thousand women gathered in Olorien/Magaiduru, camping out and holding meetings for days. On 6 April, a CCM mission led by the deputy secretary general of the party, Mwigulu Nchemba, met with these women and other people gathered in Olorien. The CCM representatives were told in no uncertain terms that the community would fight to the last person for their land and Nchemba’s conclusion was that the government’s decision was contrary to the laws of the land and would adversely affect the local community, and that he would refer the issue to the PM. 

At the same time representatives of the opposition party, Chadema, were addressing the public at a meeting in Soitsambu. Chadema’s director for Legal and Human Rights Tundu Lissu and shadow minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Peter Msigwa, told villagers to support the opposition party in opposing the government decision. (Mwananchi, 7 April 2013)

Kagasheki held a breakfast meeting with ambassadors and representatives of international communities in the country complaining about “37 NGOs” (!) with “hidden interests” in Loliondo. The minster continued with the shameless lie about giving land to landless people. He even suggested to have a disagreement with OBC – the sponsor of the rejected land use plan that proposed the alienation of the 1,500 km2 – as if the company could go to court because of the “reduction” of LGCA, when it had been the proposal of the land use plan the company had paid for! In a report released by OBC in November 2016 the hunters also complained about the size of the hunting block, since they only hunt on part of it.  

Legal and Human Rights Centre sent on 15 April 2013 a letter to Kagasheki warning him that his announcements were a contempt of court in the ongoing constitutional case, urging him to restrain from implementing his decisions and that “In the event this call is ignored or neglected we shall be forced to institute an application before the court of law against you personally”

On 18 April 2013 OBC’s Mollel said to the BBC, "The people communicating for the Maasai are not the Maasai themselves. They make sure that [there is] no clear understanding between the investors and the indigenous people of Loliondo" .

On 18 April 2013, a delegation of representatives from Loliondo that had waited some days in Dodoma, and before had been in Dar es Salaam, met with Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda who came from a long meeting with the CCM team that visited Loliondo and, judging from their public statements, sided with the people. The PM agreed that the land does indeed belong to the Maasai and he said that the announcements made by the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism would not be implemented. Though nothing of this was put in any written document and Pinda also “advised” the delegates to establish a WMA. He asked them to wait until he had talked with the president.

On 26 April 2013, a meeting was held in Arash where the councillors informed the community of the meeting with the PM. Following the meeting, several journalists were arrested at night and their equipment confiscated. They were later released, and their equipment returned.

On 30 April 2013 opposition parliamentarian Peter Msigwa made a presentation on Loliondo in parliament that was dismissed by one CCM legislator after the other. MP Telele stood up and thanked the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism and the government for finding a “solution” to the Loliondo land conflict. Telele had spoken up against the evictions in 2009 and some of his actions that made him appear to side with investors or central government against the people of Ngorongoro had been explained as ignorance – but this was the final nail in the coffin of his credibility. 

Winding up debate for his ministry’s 2013/2014 budget estimates on 2 May 2013, Kagasheki said that the government will not be dictated by “NGOs”, some of which are operating in Loliondo for their own selfish ends. He told parliament that some NGOs are sowing seeds of discord and causing unrest in the disputed area – which actually is a perfect description of what the “friends of investors”, some of them indeed NGOs, are doing. 

Beginning of the end of the Kagasheki-style threat
On 16 May 2013, various traditional leaders from Loliondo gathered in Dar es Salaam demanding a meeting with the president. Almost a month had passed since the meeting in Dodoma with the PM who expressed his support and said he would refer the issue to the president. The demands were not met, and the delegation headed on to Dodoma to see then PM Mizengo Pinda. In Dodoma, the traditional leaders were joined by other delegations from Loliondo for a long and costly wait until the PM on 30 May issued a letter with the government’s statement to the Arusha RC. The letter, which never was mentioned by the RC, recognised that the land belongs to the Maasai, but was otherwise a disappointment mostly talking about considering what infrastructure there is in the 1,500 km2. 

On 23 May 2013 Tanzania’s representative at the United Nations, Ramadhan M. Mwinyi read a statement at the UN Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues. The statement starts by denying the concept of indigenous people in Tanzania and then moves on into self-congratulatory mode for having granted a collective Community Land Certificate to the Hadzabe hunter-gatherers. The statement again … repeats the falsehoods about the Maasai as “landless” people that have been “given” 2,500 km2 while 1,500 km2 are being “retained” for wildlife conservation. Fortunately, Tanzanian representatives from pastoralists’ and hunter-gatherers’ organisations were present at the forum and could call the government’s story into light with their own statement

The journalist, Manyerere Jackton, who by now in 2017 has written well over 40 articles full of hate speech against the Loliondo Maasai – calling 70 % “Kenyan”, environmentally destructive, and governed by corrupt NGOs - and extreme, sometimes surreal, defamation of individuals speaking up for land rights, had of course written in support of Kagasheki (Waziri Kagasheki asiogope, Serikali isikubali kuchezewa, 5 April 2013, Jamhuri) and followed up with a series of articles with his (or OBC’s) view on what was going on in Loliondo.

On 2 September 2013, a delegation sent by the Ministry for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Developments held a meeting with councillors and others at Ngorongoro District Council. Isaac Marwa, the Principal Surveyor of this ministry, is reported to have said that - after long discussions between the Prime Minister and the ministers for Natural Resources and Tourism and for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Developments -  the Government had agreed to abandon its proposal of taking 1,500 km2 bordering Serengeti National Park. He added that the issue of Loliondo had attracted long discussions and campaigns across the world, including damaging the image of the nation, and they had decided to appreciate that the land belongs to the villages. A team of eight people led by councillors and village leaders and monitored by CSOs would make a survey of the villages of Loliondo and Sale. 

On 3 September 2013, the surveying team started its work in Sukenya and Mondorosi. The following morning when going to continue to Nginye, Njoroi and Kirtalo the team was told to stop and immediately return to Dar es Salaam. The council chairman who phoned the Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Developments for an explanation said that he had been told that the night before the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism had issued a complaint and wanted the survey stopped. The Lands Minister said that the District Council should follow up with the Prime Minister and the President, and not with her.

On 22-23 September 2013, Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda visited Loliondo. On 22nd the PM and an entourage including Anna Tibaijuka, the Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development and Lazaro Nyalandu, Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism landed at OBC’s airstrip and visited various projects in Ololosokwan and other villages. According to reports, the PM had not said anything at all in Ololosokwan.

On 23 September 2013, Wasso was overflowing with people who wanted to hear what the Prime Minister had to say. In an emotional speech, the PM told them that the plan of taking 1.500 km2 was scrapped, that the land was theirs and for their coming generations – and that the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Khamis Kagasheki would not be allowed to bother them anymore. They were asked to continue with their lives as before Kagasheki’s statements. This marked the end of the Kagasheki-style corridor threat.

On 25 September 2013 OBC’s Isaack Mollel was quoted in the Mwananchi saying he did not oppose the decision, but wanted the NGOs to join meetings to prepare land use plans. Before the announcement, though, Mollel had stated that the tourism industry in Loliondo would die and the whole ecology of the Serengeti would be affected if areas in Loliondo were not set aside for conservation since cattle had started entering the National Park (Mwananchi, 25 September 2013).

The end of Kadasheki as minister
In December 2013, Khamis Kagasheki resigned as Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism. The reason for his resignation wasn’t Loliondo at all, but an anti-poaching operation – Operation Tokomeza – that turned into harassment of pastoralists and agriculturalists, killing of livestock and into murder, rape, torture and extortion of mostly innocent rural people all over the country . This kind of behaviour by game rangers and other law enforcers was nothing new – and had been going on in various anti-pastoralist operations and in local conflicts all over rural Tanzania - but the outrage finally reached parliament A parliamentary committee confirmed the human rights abuses. Kagasheki had at the start of Operation Tokomeza, in front of tour operators called for, obviously unconstitutional, extrajudicial killings of suspected poachers, but this was not even mentioned as a reason he should resign. Besides Kagasheki the ministers for Livestock and Fisheries Development, Home Affairs and Defence and National Service all lost their jobs. The president expressed his sympathy for Kagasheki and the other ministers that had to take responsibility for “mistakes committed by junior public officers.” (Daily News, 1 January 2014) Some tour operators, and their tail in social media, wanted Kagasheki back even starting a petition to have him re-instated... There were allegations that the real reason for stopping the operation was that it came too close to top level politicians involved in poaching, which may be true, or not, even if those lamenting the stop show a shocking lack of concern about the well-documented human rights crimes… Some also claim that Kagasheki was going to mention top names involved in poaching, or even that he would already have mentioned them, which is something he to date has not done, even though international press would still be more than interested.

After Kagasheki
Over five years have passed, the situation in Loliondo has been both much worse and much better than when Kagasheki tried to take the 1,500 km2 osero, at last a Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism has possibly understood what’s going on in Loliondo (and the “understanding” seems ordered from a higher level of government after an intervention by a friend of the president) – authorities and others stirring up conflict, and committing crimes, to benefit from the “investor”.

As has been reported in this blog, after Kagasheki, the new minister, Nyalandu, focused on closed meetings in which he allegedly tried to buy off councillors. In 2016 a terror wave swept over Loliondo and people suspected of being able to speak up for land rights were illegally arrested, and four of them maliciously charged with “espionage and sabotage”, which led to more silence than ever. Following this, and a report prepared by OBC, PM Majaliwa tasked Arusha RC Gambo with “solving the conflict”, and Gambo set a select committee that in April this year handed a sad compromise proposal to Majaliwa. While the select committee was at work Maghembe showed up in Loliondo together with the anti-Loliondo journalist to declare that the 1,500 km2 had to be taken, and later brought a standing parliamentary on such a co-opted trip that several members complained about being used to rubber stamp Maghembe’s wish of “giving the land to OBC”. On 13 August 2017, while everyone was still waiting to hear from Majaliwa, Serengeti and NCA rangers invaded village land in an illegal operation ordered by the DC. At least 250 bomas were burned to the ground and there were brutal beatings, illegal seizing of cows and blocking of water sources.
Maghembe started lying that the 1,500 km2 was a protected area, as if Kagasheki’s threats had never been stopped… and on tv he used the years earlier rejected land use plan that was funded by OBC

Currently the situation in Loliondo has radically improved, after the new minister, Kigwangalla, following a less promising start, not only stopped the illegal operation, but declared that OBC’s hunting block, after all these years, would not be renewed. Kigwangalla even recognised a corrupt syndicate working for OBC, providing misleading information and stirring up conflict. This isn’t a secret for anyone in Loliondo, but it has never been recognised by a minister. Kigwangalla mentioned that former ministers had been close to OBC (quite an understatement…) but I can’t hear him mentioning Kagasheki in videos, maybe because of my deficient Swahili. Kagasheki, Maghembe and Nyalandu were mentioned in an early written report about what Kigwangalla had said. Anyway, Kigwangalla replied to Kagasheki’s tweet that he’s his much respected brother and that he hadn’t been mentioned…

I won’t accept Kagasheki’s ghost turning up five year later playing innocent, and his many “fans” have made me see the necessity of setting the record straight. If you’re ordered to lie in favour of evictions and human rights abuse, you always have the option of resigning instead of doing the task with enthusiasm… If I’m still around (probably not), and with mental faculties intact, I will remember 2013 when 50 years have passed.

Susanna Nordlund
All land in Loliondo is village land per Village Land Act No.5 of 1999, and more than the whole of Loliondo is also a Game Controlled Area (of the old kind that doesn’t affect human activities and can overlap with village land) 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.

In 2007-2008 the affected villages were threatened into signing a Memorandum of Understanding with OBC.

In the drought year 2009 the Field Force Unit and OBC extrajudicially evicted people and cattle from some 1,500 km2 of dry season grazing land that serve as the core hunting area next to Serengeti National Park. Hundreds of houses were burned and thousands of cattle were chased into an extreme drought area which did not have enough food or water to sustain them. 7-year old Nashipai Gume was lost in the chaos and has not been found, ever since.

People eventually moved back, and some leaders started participating in reconciliation ceremonies with OBC.

Soon enough, in 2010-2011, OBC totally funded a draft district land use plan that proposed turning the 1,500 km2 into the new kind of Game Controlled Area that’s a “protected” (not from hunting) area and can’t overlap with village land. This plan, that would have allowed a more “legal” repeat of 2009, was strongly rejected by Ngorongoro District Council.

In 2013, then Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Khamis Kagasheki, made bizarre statements as if all village land in Loliondo would have disappeared through magic, and the people of Loliondo would be generously “gifted” with the land outside the 1,500 km2. This was nothing but a horribly twisted way of again trying to evict the Maasai landowners from OBC’s core hunting area. There’s of course no way a Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism would have the mandate for such a trick of magic. After many mass meetings – where there was agreement to never again enter any MoU with OBC - and protest delegations to Dar es Salaam and Dodoma, then Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda in a speech on 23rd September the same year revoked Kagasheki’s threat and told the Maasai to continue their lives as before this threat that through the loss of dry season grazing land would have led to the destruction of livelihoods, environmental degradation and increased conflict with neighbours.

Parts of the press – foremost Manyerere Jackton in the Jamhuri – increased their incitement against the Maasai of Loliondo as “Kenyan” and governed by destructive NGOs. OBC’s “friends” in Loliondo became more active in the harassment of those speaking up against the “investors”, even though they themselves don’t want the GCA 2009, and rely on others, the same people they persecute, to stop it…

Speaking up against OBC (and against Thomson Safaris, the American tour operator claiming ownership of 12,617 acres, and that shares the same friends as OBC) had always been risky, but the witch-hunt intensified with mass arrests in July 2016. Four people were charged with a truly demented “espionage and sabotage” case. Manyerere Jackton has openly boasted about his direct involvement in the illegal arrests of innocent people for the sake of intimidation.

In July 2016, Manyeree Jackton wrote an “article” calling for PM Majaliwa to return the Kagasheki-style threat. In November 2016 OBC sent out a “report” to the press calling for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism to intervene against the destructive Maasai. In mid-December 2016, the Arusha RC Mrisho Gambo was tasked by the PM with setting up a committee to “solve the conflict”, and on 25th January 2017 the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, in the middle of the drought stricken Osero, flanked by the most OBC-devoted journalists, and ignoring the ongoing talks, made a declaration that the land had to be taken before the end of March. In March 2017 Minister Maghembe co-opted a Parliamentary Standing Committee, and then the RC’s committee started marking “critical areas” while being met with protest. On 21st March a proposal for a WMA was presented by the RC’s committee, handed over to PM Majaliwa on 20th April, and we are still waiting to hear something from the PM.

While still waiting, on 13th August 2017 an illegal eviction and arson operation was initiated in the Oloosek area of Ololosokwan and then continued all the way to Piyaya. Beatings, arrests of the victims, illegal seizing of cows, and blocking of water sources followed. There was an interim stop order by CHRAGG, but the crimes continued unabated. A case was filed in the East African Court of Justice on 21st September.

The new minister stopped the operation on 26th October, and then made it clear that OBC’s hunting block would not be renewed.

*Aprox. translation: “the minister for natural resources and tourism, Hamis Kigwangalla, was quoted mentioning the “investor OBC” to be involved in a bribing scandal. He mentioned me to be close to OBC. I want him to clarify this closeness, the hunting blocks I distributed when I was the minister, and the bribes I’ve received.”

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