Tanzania: Loliondo land-grab – Hon. Masauni claims it is Kenyan migrants fault…

Engineer Masauni challenged immigration officers at all exit and entry points, to be extra vigilant in curbing such illegal entries into Tanzania. “The immigration department should come up with effective strategies to control such an increasing trend, which is likely to jeopardise our peace and security,” directed Masauni, shortly before inspecting the ongoing exercise of demarcating the 1,500 square kilometers of the Loliondo Game Controlled Area (LGCA)” (…) “The Minister’s directive comes in the wake of reports of immigrants from neighboring countries who take advantage of long porous borders to enter and operate illegally in Tanzania. Engineer Masauni said that there have been reports of illegal immigrants entering the country, singling out the Loliondo area as a worst case scenario, where hundreds herds of cattle have been found grazing within the LGCA, threatening the Serengeti-Ngorongoro ecosystem” (Edward Qorro – ‘Tanzania: Immigration Tasked to Intensify Border Security’ 15.06.2022, Tanzania Daily News).

Let’s be perfectly clear… this is excuses. The main culprit is the Tanzanian state and the authorities who has sold land to a foreign company, which wants to use that for trophy hunting and game-drives. That is the Tanzanian government trading away ancestral territories for a Middle Eastern Company. This is what is happening to the Masaai land and the Loliondo areas.

Where the state has brutally displaced people and used violent means to do so. People are arrested and taken away for defending their rights to live on the land. Now, the authorities and the Minister blaming immigration and making up a false problem. Where the Tanzanian government claims the Kenyan government is allowing illegal migration and undocumented people from their bordering territories. That is really saying something…

The Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) should self-reflect on their own actions and what they are really doing. It is their interests over a historical and indigenous land, which is their responsibility to protect. Instead they are serving the interests of the tourism industry and one company. That is really compelling and telling. The interest is the common good, but a quick buck on selling out traditions and exploiting that.

The Tanzanian government cannot come with excuses like this. That should get pushback from Nairobi and the Jubilee Party. There is a need for President Uhuru Kenyatta to call President Samia Suluhu. Especially, when the Hon. Hamad Masauni, the Minister of Home Office has been saying this to the media. He is coming with allegations, which is blaming Kenya for the trouble in the border region of Tanzania.

However, everyone with some common sense. It is the land-grabbing and the internal conflicts, which is the reason. If the Tanzanian government had respected the indigenous land and not sold it. That’s the reason for the aftermath and all the pushback. This is very easy, but the CCM is making it very hard.

Hon. Masauni is speaking out of line. Since their actions is actually causing migrations from Tanzania to Maasai territory on the other side of border into Kenya. Therefore, it would be fair for Kenya to speak of the refugees and fleeing Maasai brothers who fled the brutal eviction in the Loliondo area. That’s saying something and the Tanzanian government isn’t the victim.

The Maasai people of the Loliondo area are the victims and the hurt ones here. The CCM is the one who profits on the misery of the Maasai people. Just so a Middle Eastern company can get territories to show the beauty of Tanzania. A beauty that was destroyed for the ones who actually resided there… Peace.

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.

Tanzania: ACT Wazalendo – Attention to the Public and Media: Ongoing crisis in Loliondo (12.06.2022)

Tanzania: President Hassan appoints a Task-Force to guide public rallies for political parties…

““The task force which consists of 24 members, which is directly answerable to the President, presented the resolutions at the State House in Dodoma. The resolutions are divided into three implementation timelines,” reads the statement said. The statement said the short-term resolution was the drafting of regulations that would guide how to conduct public rallies for political parties. “Some of the med-term resolutions include corruption and ethics during elections, subsidies, civic education, while issues pertaining to the new constitution are in the long-term plan.”” (The Citizen – ‘New Regulations now to guide political rallies’ 12.03.2022).

The Chama Cha Mapundzi (CCM) are the majority party and the laws that has been passed and implemented. During the years of the late President Joseph Magufuli the laws for the media, political parties and others was severely changed to block and monitor them. The state are now allowed to monitor most of the political parties and their every move. They cannot issue certain political material, conferences or even gatherings without the consent of the authorities.

That’s why today’s statement and announcement of a Task-Force to look into this is significant. It is a right step into the possible positive direction. While we all know what the CCM is capable of and there will be loyalist of the cause in the Task-Force. There are also opposition members and members from the Law Societies of Tanzania. Therefore, it is a huge deal.

I reckon this as a positive step though I am taking it with a grain of salt. As there are opportunities and ways to make the changes stall. Heck, there might be made aware of technicalities or hurdles, which states it impossible to change things. We know the laws amended in the previous term and by joint legislations. That was how several of laws made more hostile and impossible for the political parties to operate.

That Samia Suhulu Hassan does this could bring changes, which is needed. Especially, if she is willing and the CCM to make it a level playing-field for all the political parties. As of today, the CCM has massive powers and can use the authorities to strangle the other parties. They can stipulate and block the other political parties from operating. Since, their actions can be deemed illegal or a “danger” to society. Therefore, the CCM can change this, but then it’s up the Parliament and President to make it happen.

This Task-Force can deliver reports and amendments, which can be implemented. However, that is up to the majority rule and the President. I don’t know… if that will happen or if this is a publicity stunt. That’s how it can look from the outside, but we can be hopeful that something substantial will happen now.

The CCM can do the right thing here. President Hassan is on the right path here, but that is living on hope. A Task-Force can deliver a product and it can easily be dismissed or never implemented. There are several reports and such planned legislation that can easily be buried by the Head of State. Therefore… the President has a final say and CCM has now an opportunity to make a difference. Where they are actually … make it possible and open the space for the political parties in the United Republic. That’s what we can hope for and now we have to wait and see. Peace.

Tanzania: Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) – Economic Case No. 16. of 2021 – Nolle Prosequi (04.03.2022)

Tanzania: A handshake of hope or despair?

Yesterday in Brussels was an unique day after a hostile election and aftermath, which the opposition has been in distress. Where the political parties haven’t been allowed to organize or even being viable. As the state has targeted CHADEMA and ACT-Wazelendo after the elections, which late President Joseph Magaufuli won.

Now, his successor President Samia Suluhu Hassan has met with the main Opposition Presidential Candidate Tundu Lissu who fled for exile after the election in 2020. It was clear to him that there was no relief or chances for a peaceful living after the polls. The Chama Cha Mapundzi (CCM) is overbearing and controlling the political space. Therefore, the ruling regime has it’s hands everywhere. That is obvious and the brutal truth in the United Republic of Tanzania.

The handshake is either a token of hope for reconciliation or creating a false belief of an open space. As the political leaders are talking and the possible negotiations. Since CHADEMA leaders are behind bars and so other political activists too. The state has used the law and the security agencies to target and silence it’s critics. That’s why even the talk of amending or changing the constitution has been deemed as a violation and reason to charge political leaders.

It is not like the era of freedom of speech or liberty to speak is at an all time high. The political parties are monitored, media is muffled and the state has their hands into everything. There is nothing they are not looking into and the political parties cannot operate without a go-sign from the government to have conferences or gatherings. Therefore, the CCM is the paternalistic organization, which deems everyone fit or unfit to whatever they propose.

The handshake and the pictures are a symbol of hope. While the laws, the strict affairs in Tanzania haven’t changed anything. The security agencies and the police will still hassle or go after the ones who dares to challenge the President. That’s why she has even suspended party press, which went out with news that it didn’t deem right.

I’m taking the news with caution. It’s too early to celebrate… when you know how the authorities has gone after dissidents, political leaders and journalists in the recent years. Tundu Lissu knows all of this and he cannot give way yet. If so… his selling the causes early and without proof of changing attitudes.

The laws are still the same and the authorities haven’t lost it’s spark. The President and the CCM needs to extend and olive branch, which it did in Brussels. However, it has to make a significant change in the United Republic to really matter. As there are victims of the political power-play and the usage of law, which isn’t only Freeman Mbowe, but his the symbol of the oppression in the Republic.

President Samia has to prove it now. It’s in her court and she has to open up. That will be painful and has to drop the guards down. However, Lissu shouldn’t sell himself short. Since he has paid the price to stand up against this government.

A handshake should never be enough, but it’s a nice symbol to buy time for possible change. Peace.

Tanzania: CHADEMA – Public Announcement (30.11.2021)

Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC): Statement Condemning Arbitrary Arrest and Detention of Cartoonist Optatus Fwema (04.10.2021)

Tanzania: Bawacha – Bawacha condems police harrasment of its members (19.09.2021)

Tanzania: CHADEMA – Public Announcement (04.09.2021)

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