Friday, December 12, 2014

Traditional elders from the Maasai community in Loliondo area of Ngorongoro district have urged the government to put in writing its position on the ongoing land crisis that has created fear of forty thousand people to become land less. 
ELders isssuing statement

It was earlier alleged that Tanzania Government was planning to evict the Maasai from Loliondo and turn their ancestral land into a reserve for the royal family of Dubai to hunt big game.
Speaking during a community meeting held   in Kertalo village, Maasai elders thanked President Jakaya Kikwete for his quick reaction to dismiss the rumor and clearly stated in his tweet that his government was not in plan to evict Loliondo residents from their mother land.

“Much as we hail our president for his good comments we would like also to ask him to formalize his government stand on the issue in writing for records purposes. Said Kinyanjui Kimeriai a prominent traditional leader in Loliondo.
Kimeriai  went on to say that hunting tourism should be banned in the area because they see it as the source of the land conflict.

Another Elder   Mesiaya Ole Tome also asked the President to direct the ministry of tourism and natural resources to retract written statements it issued on March 21, and April 7, last year, on turning their ancestral land into wildlife management area.
Tome  insisted that if their land is taken it would rob them of their heritage and directly or indirectly affect the livelihoods of 80,000 people as the area is crucial for the grazing of livestock on which the nomadic Maasai depend
These statements are the source of fear gripping Maasai communities in Loliondo ,Once retracted in  a written  statement form ,Loliondo resident will believe the government had listened to their concerns
Commenting on the issue the director for Tanzania Pastoralist Community Forum (TPCF) Joseph Parsambei has insisted that it was a high time the governments ends a two decade land conflict in Loliondo and allow pastoralists to enjoys their citizenry rights.
He said Loiliondo land should be surveyed and villagers given ownership titles deeds to end the Loliondo land saga once and for all.
“The source of fear and confusion in the area is the uncertainty of who owns Loliondo land, is it the government or villagers, there are also laws conflicting the land status ,this needs government taught decision ,the best solution is to declare the land is for the Maasai” Said Parsambei.
For her part, special seats councilors for Ngorongoro District, Tina Timan said due to such displacement of pastoralists, almost 75 percent of Ngorongoro territory will be reallocated exclusively for wildlife tourism management leaving out the pastoralists without necessary resources like land, pasture and water.

She said the situation is chiefly caused by the lack of clarity about the legal status of the land and the relative powers and responsibilities of the central government and village authorities regarding the management of accessibility to the land for purposes of conservation related investments.

“A key example is OBC in 1992, it was granted the land without people’s consultation and the district council signed on behalf of the villages something that is a violation of constitutional rights. The situation is further complicated by the multiplicity of policy, legal and institutional mandates surrounding the Loliondo Game Controlled Area,” she said.

Ngorongoro District Commissioner Elias Wawa Lali said that the government have already given its stance on the issue and asked villagers to be patient and allow the government which is now in top gear to end the land crisis in the area..

"The position of the government is clear and no doubt this time round we are determined to end  these false lies which are propagated by  some individual using  both local and international media ”Lali said when he was asked to comment on the issue.


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