Loliondo report a deliberate distortion?

BY NANGONDO TLAWI

AS the government continues to mount beacons within the 1,500 square-kilometers Loliondo Game Controlled Area, there is an on-going parallel gross distortion on the exercise.

The propagated lies capitalizes on the mass ignorance whereby the Loliondo exercise is confused with Ngorongoro’s voluntary repatriation of Maasais from Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

The truth is, the beacons in Loliondo game controlled area are mounted some eight kilometres from the nearby villages and hence no eviction in Loliondo game controlled area.

The attack and eventual death of a policeman on duty by a small group of people during the beacon mounting exercise in Loliondo is a deliberate and coordinated move to disrupt the exercise and frustrate the conservation efforts for the benefit of the nation.

The obvious question is, how threatening is the beacon mounting exercise that is being carried on eight kilometers from the Maasai bomas?

It is, therefore, obvious that the attack was a clear provocation with an ill motive behind. For whose benefit? Time will tell as events continue to unfold.

Tanzania’s decency and sophisticated way to handle issues should not be taken for granted. The perpetrators of these heinous acts will be booked and the exercise will be completed successfully to the disappointment of the ill-wishers.

It also goes further extinguishing baseless and unfounded reports that have since been picked some Media outlets which aren’t knowledgeable about the area.

Speaking in parliament recently, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa insisted that peace continues to prevail in Loliondo, putting to rest claims of police officers opening fire on pastoralist communities living in the area.

The Premier deemed such Videos and images circulated via social media showed scenes of a Maasai community gathering to protest against the police, as a blatant attempt of derailing the planned land demarcation in the area.

Delivering the government’s stance in the National Assembly the Premier maintained that there was no such chaos, trashing accusations of police involvement in the matter.

According to the PM, the government was planting beacons to demarcate the 1,500 square kilometer conservation area in Loliondo from the part allocated for human activities; a move he said will strike the right balance between conservation and people’s livelihoods.

Likewise, Mr Majaliwa reiterated that the government had no plans of evicting the pastoralists from the area to make way for a game reserve, as it was widely suggested by some Media outlets.

“What exactly happened is that government vehicles moved through some villages in Loliondo as they went to place the beacons. Then some residents, who were not aware of that move, gathered to discuss the issue,” the Premier maintained.

“During their meeting, some people protested, thinking that they were going to be evicted. After getting correct information from their elders and government officials, they all disbursed and the situation returned to normal until this morning.”

The Premier equally took issue with activists for providing “misleading information” about Maasai issues in Loliondo. He said the video was recorded and circulated by a person who wanted to “paint a bad image of the government.”

In the same vein, the PM put on notice some institutions registered by the government for conservation activities for meddling in the Loliondo issue saying they were misleading and inciting conflict between residents and the government,” he said, warning that the government was watching them.

Reports on the proposed plan of evicting the Maasai as widely claimed by activists were uncalled for, according to the Prime Minister.

If anything, the government plans to establish infrastructure for water supply and other development activities.

In her rejoinder, Speaker of the National Assembly asked the government to take action against those who “mislead” accusing them of being used to sabotage Tanzania in its economic efforts.

“The government can start with the person who recorded and circulate the video,” she said.
Speaking from Loliondo where he’s overseeing the erections of the beckons, Arusha John Mongella has warned against instigators who fuel violence with the aim of tampering with the government’s ongoing exercise of mounting beckons within the 1,500 square kilometer in the Loliondo Game Controlled Area (LGCA).

This comes as a group of goons attacked and killed a police officer who was manning the exercise on Friday afternoon.

Mr Mongella maintained that the government will not be cowed with such ploys, saying that the government remains committed to the cause.

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