Tanzania: Loliondo land-grab – When tourism beats the ownership of indigenous land…

The Tanzanian government is intending to resume the eviction of about 70,000 Maasai community in Loliondo to make room for trophy hunting and elite tourism. The move, which will involve dispossessing over 70,000 Maasai pastoralists of 1500sq km of their ancestral land. This is aimed at creating room for Ortello Business Company, a hunting firm owned by the United Arab Emirates’ royal family, as part of investment for the government” (Western Nyota TV, 13.06.2022).

The Chama Cha Mapundzi (CCM) don’t care and isn’t concerned with the rule of law. As the commercial interests of the tourism industry and a foreign investors involvement matters more. That’s why Maasai territories are now possibly evicted for the sole purpose of an investor making a game-drive. So, that the animals can be seen by foreigners visiting and ensuring profits to the state coffers.

That’s done without the consent of the Masaai people or their ancestral rights to territories in question. This is why they have been demonstrating, because the state is violently and brutally evicting them from their homeland. Just so one investor can have a safari company and game-drive in the area. That’s really not developing, but ceasing territory for man’s pleasure and his company.

According to reliable information received by IWGIA, the Tanzanian state is currently moving ahead to grab 1,500 km2 of ancestral and legally registered village land belonging to the Maasai Indigenous people in the Loliondo division of Ngorongoro District in northern Tanzania. This land grab will forcefully evict the Maasai from their land. This is happening despite the fact that the East African Court of Justice is expected to issue a ruling on this matter on 22 June 2022. On 7 June 2022, a paramilitary group of around 700 people (mainly police, park rangers, military and other security forces) arrived in Loliondo to demarcate the 1,500 km2 area of land as a Game Reserve1. This land is the ancestral land of the Maasai people who have formalized land tenure rights to this land as per the Village Land Act No.5 of 1999. The demarcation of this land as a Game Reserve will effectively dispossess the Maasai people of their ancestral land since people and livestock will not be allowed to live in a Game Reserve” (International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) – ‘Urgent Alert: New serious threats towards the Maasai people of Loliondo in Tanzania’ 13.06.2022).

Over 100,000 Maasai are facing a forcefully eviction from their ancestral land in Loliondo and Ngorongoro, Tanzania Maasai have been living in Lolondo and Ngorongoro before Tanzania gained independence. The eviction is purely to making way for Trophy Hunting” (Tanzania Leaks, 13.06.2022).

This here shouldn’t be accepted and people should speak out on the matter. It isn’t righteous and fair. Clearly it is injustice, pure and simple. Tanzanian authorities and state is doing practically a land-grab and with violent means to get their way. This eviction isn’t done with measures of fairness or compensation. No, these are people who is violently removed and evicted from their territories, which have been theirs for generations.

That the Tanzanian authorities are doing this and using all sorts of violent ways. Just shows the world how unjust this is. The CCM and the President knows this as they are just serving a Middle Eastern company “prime-real-estate” for safari and a game-drive. That’s why they are doing this and showing the lack of care or concern for the people who belongs in this territory.

If CCM and the President wanted a favourable look. This wasn’t it. They are just displaying brutality and what they do for some cheap coins. Peace.

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