Saturday, 25 June 2016

Much Silence from Loliondo and then Extreme Defamation in the Jamhuri

A good man passed away.
There was an appeal hearing.
OBC donated school desks.
The worst of the worst joined up for defamation.

I haven’t posted any new blog post in a very long time, and the reason is that obtaining information is harder than ever. Some are corrupted and many – maybe all - are intimidated. Others say that things are calm and the “investors” aren’t doing anything at the moment. When a new Jamhuri “article” appeared in mid-June I had urgent reasons to write, but have been delayed due to travelling and mostly waiting in vain for help with information.
First some short other news.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Brief and Delayed News about more Vicious Incitement and Charity as a Weapon

Meeting about land in February.
The Jamhuri attacked insanely again.
OBC had guests.
Big propaganda number with donation to hospital.

As mentioned in this blog, in January there was the most horrible media incitement against Kirtalo, after the DC took journalists there and lied to them that people would have “invaded” their own land cultivating, and that obvious village land would be some kind of “investor area” or “protected area” – which the “journalists” readily reported. OBC’s own DC Hashim Mgandilwa announced that there would be a meeting on 18th January. The incitement died down, and since the local leaders weren’t ready, there never was a meeting.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

A personal view on the book Selling the Serengeti by Ben Gardner

There have been some developments in Loliondo that I need to blog about when I’ve got enough information, but first I have a book to write about.

A book of great interest to this blog has been published: Selling the Serengeti: The Cultural Politics of Safari Tourism by associate professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington Bothell, Benjamin Gardner. In spite of the title, the focus of this book is exclusively on the Loliondo Maasai and the different “investors” that are using, and in the worst case, claiming ownership to Maasai land.

Selling the Serengeti is not a report about what has happened, but rather something like an analysis of how the different actors are presented, or present themselves and their relation to the land, and how it affects the Maasai’s struggle to control their land. The book situates this in relation to earlier research, like that of Rod Neumann, Doreen Massey and Stuart Hall (which makes the list of books I need to get hold of longer and more expensive). Some important pieces of the story are left out, while others are closely examined.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Karkamoru is Threatened Again

The DC has visited Karkamoru in Kirtalo together with journalists.
Media has spread misinformation.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

OBC - Hunters from Dubai and the Threat against 1,500 km2 of Maasai Land in Loliondo

It’s been some time since I wrote a summary about OBC and the 1,500 km2, a lot has happened, and there has been much misinformation, mostly from government and “investors”, but unfortunately also from well-meaning quarters.

Very short version:
OBC have been hunting in Loliondo since 1993.
There were extrajudicial evictions in 2009 from the sought-after 1,500 km2 next to Serengeti National Park. People eventually moved back.
In 2011 a draft district land use plan – funded by OBC – proposed turning the 1,500 km2 into a protected area. This was strongly rejected by the district council.
In 2013 Minister Kagasheki made statements threatening to take the 1,500 km2. The threat was revoked by the PM, who said the land belonged to the Maasai that should continue their lives as before. This promise has not been put in writing.
After 2013 there haven’t been any open official statements from the Tanzanian government announcing any interest in grabbing land in Loliondo.
There have however been alleged threats in closed meetings, and a media campaign against the Maasai of Loliondo. A written declaration from the government is needed, and so is continued vigilance. 

The sections of this blog post are:
Loliondogate in the 90s
New Millennium
The Extrajudicial Evictions in 2009
The District Land Use Plan Revealed in 2011
Kagasheki’s Horrible and Twisted Threat in 2013
The Confusion in 2014

Sunday, 29 November 2015

My article about Thomson Safaris in Third World Resurgence magazine

The new issue, with a focus on tourism, of Third World Resurgence magazine has an article that I’ve written about Thomson Safaris. It serves as the summary I should have written some time ago.

Other articles in the magazine are:
Tourism – a driver of inequality and displacement - Anita Pleumarom
Tourism and the biosphere crisis: Provisions for inter-generational care - Alison M Johnston
Rise of the aerotropolis – Rose Bridger
Tourism for women’s rights? – Albertina Almeida
The puputan struggle against the Benoa Bay reclamation project – Anton Muhajir
Tourism, the extractive industry and social conflict in Peru – Rodrigo Ruiz Rubio
Tourism and the consumption of Goa – Claude Alvares
The occidentalisation of the Everest – Vaishna Roy
The getthoisation of Palestine – tourism as a tool of oppression and resistance – Freya Higgins-Desbiolles
The bitter irony of ‘1 billion tourists – 1 billion opportunities’

Maasai fight eviction from Tanzanian community land by US-based ecotourism company

Pastoralist land in Tanzania is under threat because of commercial agriculture and conservation. In some places 'philanthropic' ecotourism companies also add to the problem.
This article focuses on a case in Loliondo.
Susanna Nordlund

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Politics and Injustice in Loliondo

There are election results.
An unbelievable unjust – but not unexpected -court ruling was delivered, and there will be an appeal.

There’s some good, some bad and some downright ugly news, and this blog post has been somewhat delayed due to confusion.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Grabbers of Pastoralist Land Join Forces and Loliondo is Misused in the Election Campaign

A partnership between AWF and Thomson Safaris has been loudly announced.
Sheikh Mohammed visited and this was used in a dishonest way in the election campaign.

Since everyone who has some information is busy with politics it's even harder than usual to obtain information from Loliondo.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Some Kind of Loliondo Update and Delayed News About Abuse in NCA

I was contacted by the worst anti-Loliondo journalist.
There was a very bad article in the Raia Tanzania
Everyone is busy with the elections.
There isn’t many news about the “investors”.
The dry season has brought serious problems with rangers, especially in areas of NCA.

I have not been able to get many updates, reportedly because everyone is busy with the coming elections and the "investors" are keeping a low profile. When I was about to publish a blog post about nothing I was informed about abuse committed by NCAA rangers in Ndutu.

I’m happy to say that my arrest report has been translated to Swahili by Evarist Chahali.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Brief Report about How I Was Arrested in Loliondo

I was locked up two nights at Loliondo police station and one night at Arusha police station.
Not allowed to contact anyone.
My computer was destroyed.
Instead of a court case I was deported to Kenya.
Then the usual journalist wrote an article full of lies about me.
Updated below.

Last week my latest trip to Loliondo – a part of the world that’s always on my mind - was cut short in a quite abrupt way when someone reported me to authorities. I wanted to meet some of the people who are not online, but who have information about the land threats caused by “investors”.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Some Good News and a Lot More Abuse and Insanity from Loliondo

More articles inciting against the Maasai of Loliondo
Fear about the anti-Kenyan operation           .
Mass arrests after extremely corrupt police were beaten by warriors at Ololosokwan market.
Youths arrested for “environmental destruction” in area where OBC are active
Demonstrations at Thomson Safaris’ PR spectacle inaugurating the Sukenya dispensary.
Excellent article about Thomson Safaris in Vice Magazine.
Attack on Kirtalo by police incited by William Alais’ investor-friendly gang.
Not too clever journalists.
Not too clever DC.
UAE Water Project. 

There have been very worrying developments, but also some promising news, and an excellent international article. As usual it’s been unreasonably difficult to get exact information.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Excellent Article about Thomson Safaris in Vice Magazine

This post was to be part of next blog update, but since that post is getting too long and too delayed due to too much happening and problems getting exact information, the article gets its own blog post. I hope to soon write about developments in Kirtalo and add that to the delayed update that also has some other important news.

On 12th May Vice Magazine uploaded an article from their May issue called, The EcotourismIndustry Is Saving Tanzania’s Animals and Threatening Its Indigenous People, and despite the title the article is entirely about Thomson Safaris’ “Enashiva Nature Refuge”. Some short videos are embedded in the article.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Betrayal and Abuse Continue in Loliondo

Nothing was done about the human rights abuse of February.
The RC came.
Kidupo kept getting worse.
A surveying team came and left.
Channel 10 attacked again.
Then Kenyans and those “helping Kenyans” were attacked.

Updates on the human rights abuse in February
The people whose houses were burned 10th-14th February did, according to reports I've got, not get any help.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

The Aggressively Litigious Thomson Safaris with their Dollars Manage to Silence a Very Important Website

An alarm against injustice has been silenced. Armed with multiple lawyers, multiple law firms Thomson Safaris set out to stop the truth from being told, and the Stop Thomson Safaris website is no more.

To keep their anonymity – for explicable reasons being based in Tanzania - the creators of the website Stop Thomson Safaris have been forced to make a settlement with the land grabbing tour operator that sued them for “defamation and tortious interference with prospective economic advantage” and used a subpoena to try to make the web host Weebly disclose their identity.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Bomas Razed by Serengeti National Park Rangers and Loliondo Administrative Police

A large number of bomas in areas of Arash and Loosoito/Maaloni have been burned by TANAPA and thousands of people left without food or shelter.

Exact details have been very difficult to come by.

The “investor-friendly”* group is worse than ever.

I should have published a blog post a week ago, but have had serious problems getting exact information. Now it has to be posted. (Updated below in purple.  It's been found that the bomas were inside the established park boundary, and some also inside another, unidentified, boundary. It has to be investigated if the unidentified boundary could have become the legal boundary.)

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Very Delayed Updates about Dangerous Divisions and Insane Incitement and in the Fight against Loliondo Land Threats

The Jamhuri continues inciting against the people of Loliondo – and is joined by other media outlets.
There have been “investor-friendly” meetings and meetings denouncing this.
Minister Nyalandu made pointless visits.
Some hearings and then postponement in the case against Thomson Safaris.
Activists are being threatened.
The MP continues showing off his uselessness.
Maybe a change for the better is on the way?

This blog post has been seriously delayed due to unreasonable difficulties in getting detailed information.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Reply to the Ministry for Natural Resources and Tourism's press release about Loliondo

“The government of United Republic of Tanzania has never had any plan to evict the Maasai people from their ancestral land

This is a patently false and untrue statement. The 1,500 square kilometres dry season grazing land in question, bordering Serengeti National Park, has already been under threat several times. This land is also the core hunting area of Otterlo Business Corporation Ltd that for two decades has held the hunting block (permit to hunt) that covers more than the whole area of Loliondo Division. The Dubai-owned OBC organizes hunting trips for the highest levels of United Arab Emirates society.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

The Nyalandu-Style Loliondo Land Grab Attempt Almost Becomes World News

The renewed 1,500km2 grab attempt finally was reported about by the press, but in a distorted way.
One Tanzanian newspaper is inciting the public against the people of Loliondo.
The same paper published a letter by the councillor for Oloipiri supporting Thomson Safaris and OBC.
Minister Nyalandu denies everything and talks about other things.
A delegation from Loliondo failed to meet the Prime Minister.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

More About the New Corridor Grab Attempt and About Thomson Safaris’ too Old Land Grab in Loliondo

Thomson Safaris have sent some of their “friends” for witness training.
The police are intimidating victims of Thomson’s violence.
There have been some meetings and a lot of silence about the Nyalandu-style land grab threat.
A document will be presented.

Thomson Safaris Land Grab
Nyalandu-styleThreat against the 1,500 km2
A Background to the Threat against 1,500 km2 of Dry Season Grazing Land

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Extremely Worrying New Attempt by the Government to Grab 1,500 km2 of Maasai Land – and Other Updates about Land Threats in Loliondo

-Thomson Safaris are back to harassing people and cattle that enter onto the land that they have grabbed.

-Good and bad news from Kakesio in NCA.

-The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism has met several times with the council chairman and also held a meeting with all councillors from affected wards. The information/threat is that the government is set on taking the land.

Friday, 29 August 2014

My Reply to Lies About Loliondo in UNWTO Handbook

I’ve come across an “International Handbook onTourism and Peace” that’s published by the Centre for Peace Research and Peace Education of the Klagenfurt University in Austria in cooperation with the United Nations World Tourism Organization. There’s a chapter in this handbook that deals with the conflict between the people of Loliondo and the government working in the interest of the “investor” OBC, but unfortunately this chapter gets some basic facts totally wrong presenting last year’s land grabbing attempt by the Ministry for Natural Resources and Tourism led by the then Minister Khamis Kagasheki as “entirely based on wisdom”! I sent an email - copied and pasted below – to the writer of the chapter and to the two editors of the handbook. This handbook was launched already in January this year with the support of the Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth and the Ministry of European and International Affairs of Austria. I’d kindly ask everyone reading this blog post to if possible share it with anyone who has read the disinformation of the handbook. I have so far only read the chapter about Loliondo and hope that the rest is not in the same vein. (Though I wouldn’t know since I only have detailed information about Loliondo…)

Email sent on Thursday 28th August 2014 22:47 “Misleading information in Handbook on Tourism and Peace‏”.

Dear Emmanuel, Cordula and Werner (writer and editors),

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

A Model for Community-Based tourism Through Violence and Dispossession – More About Thomson Safaris’ “Enashiva” in Loliondo

In memory of Moringe ole Parkipuny, sadly missed for one year now.

-There have been some meetings.
-In a meeting with the District Commissioner an agreement was made that cows and herders will no longer be harassed on the occupied land, but will graze freely.
-What happened when Olunjai Timan was shot because of Thomson Safaris’ occupation of Maasai land.
-And a reminder of what the “philanthropic” land grabber has been doing during these years.

Olunjai Timan (I’ve earlier been spelling his name “Olonjai”) left hospital returning home to Mondorosi on 16th July, one week after being shot by a policeman working for Thomson Safaris. His wound still needs regular cleaning and dressing.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Herder Shot Because of the “Philanthropic” Thomson Safaris – and Other Loliondo Land Threat News

Olonjai Timan was shot by a policeman working for Thomson Safaris.
I’m having problems getting updates about the cases against herders accused by Thomson, but am waiting to hear a sentence today (11th July).
I’m also having problems getting updates about OBC.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Another Delayed Update About the Land Grabbers of Loliondo – or who is a Kenyan?

There’s talk about a security and intelligence camp in Loliondo.
An NGO staff member was “accused” of being “Kenyan”.
In April the Boston Globe published a biased article about Thomson Safaris’ land grab.
It’s being looked into how the District Council could get out of the court case.
And Thomson Safaris again physically and judicially attack the people whose land they have taken.

This blog post is unnecessarily delayed for the usual reasons, but I’ve got some information that I can share.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Tanapa Rangers Commit Arson in Arash – and Other News about Loliondo Land Threats*

The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism issued threats against pastoralists.
Tanapa rangers burned down bomas in Arash – and no action was taken against this.
There’s a dangerous lack of unity.
Seasonal OBC worker travel to Loliondo in the middle of the rainy season.
FZS are hard at work making top recruitments to carry out their plans for Loliondo.
Thomson Safaris continue occupying Maasai land and the court case against them is ongoing.
The American organisation EarthRights lends a hand to the struggle.
Update 22nd April: on 18th April the 1782 application in Massachusetts to get access to documents about Thomson was granted and on the 22nd there was a press release.

I’ve managed to get some information after much chasing of people in possession of it. Part of it is very serious news, but almost without debate and apparently totally without action taken.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

More About the Land Grabbing “Investors” of Loliondo (and NCA)

The rains came.
Kagaheki, Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, resigned for Christmas and this was celebrated in Loliondo.
OBC isn’t doing anything at all (?)
In NCA Kakesio´s problem with the Friedkin group of companies continues and the NCAA isn’t doing much about it.
Thomson Safaris continue occupying Maasai land and presenting it as a model for community-based tourism, and again physically assault people who resist the occupation by grazing.
NGOs like Frankfurt Zoological Society and the Honeyguide Foundation excel in negative influence.

The dry season was on the way towards a catastrophe, but in early December it started raining seriously and the grass sprouted.

I’ve got some information about the latest land grabbing developments in Loliondo – and Kakesio (in NCA) – but as usual this blog post is delayed since it unfortunately takes some effort to get exact information, and some issues still have to wait to be written about.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Thomson Safaris Sue the Website Stop Thomson Safaris

Another example of the spirit of the safari company that occupies 12,617 acres of Maasai grazing land in Loliondo, violently harass the legitimate landowners and finds it appropriate to aggressively present this as a model of community-based conservation.

I’m having some annoying problems getting exact information about issues that I need to include in next blog post. Instead I’ll first write about another issue that I’ve wanted to mention for a long time and it’ll get its own post.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Good News, Strange News, Worrying Developments, Idiotic Comments and Inexplicable Silences about Loliondo Land Threats

After some months of silence central government reappeared and disappeared in Loliondo. Then the Prime Minister appeared and declared that the 1.500km2 belong to the Maasai and their coming generations thereby reversing the threats and lies by the Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism.
Long term FZS head comes out in support of the Government and OBC.
The court case against Thomson Safaris is ongoing, there’s still unity, but sinister old manager is back.
This dry season turned bad and grazing in Serengeti NP was needed. Cows and people were arrested with strange charge sheets.

After the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Khamis Kagasheki, had spent the first part of 2013 issuing threatening and bizarre statements about the Government’s intention of taking 1,500km2 of important grazing land for a “wildlife corridor” and several protest delegations from Loliondo had visited Dar es Salaam and Dodoma, the Prime Minister wrote a letter to the Arusha Regional Commissioner on 30th May and everything went quiet. Kagasheki had gone as far as calling the Maasai “landless” invaders of their own land, and saying that they were being “given” land since the Government would not take the whole of Loliondo Game Controlled Area (that in its totality is village land). The Prime Minister, in contrast, did recognise that the land does belong to the villages, but otherwise his letter wasn’t very promising since the PM did not show an understanding of the importance of this land for pastoralism. Nothing was ever heard from the Regional Commissioner about the Prime Minister’s letter.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Brief Summary of the – Hopefully Now Forever Stopped – Plan of Grabbing 1,500km2 from the Maasai of Loliondo

The Government of Tanzania has repeatedly declared interest in taking 1,500km2 of important dry season grazing land bordering Serengeti National Park from the Maasai of Loliondo and Sale divisions of Ngorongoro District.

Under the provisions of the Village Land Act No 5 of 1999 – and under customary land tenure since as long as can be remembered - this land belongs to the villagers of Ololosokwan, Soitsambu, Oloipiri, Oloirien, Maaloni, Arash, Malambo and Piyaya – and the land is also of vital seasonal importance for pastoralists beyond the borders of these villages. The loss of this land would signify the destruction of tens of thousands of lives and livelihoods.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Another Loliondo Visit - A Kind of Safari Report

In memory of Moringe Parkipuny

In July 2013 I managed to return to Loliondo and meet some people affected by Thomson Safaris’occupation of 12,617 acres of Maasai land.

This report is maybe too personal, but not of the kind written in another time. It focuses on the land threats (and me seeking information about them) and not my inadequacies as a tourist, weird and wonderful people and animals I've met, or efforts to wash my hair without running water. The report may contain some whining and ranting.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Loliondo Land Threats - Latest Developments

In memory of Moringe Parkipuny who too early passed away in Karatu on 22nd July 2013. You are sadly missed and your spirit will never be allowed to die.

A long awaited letter from the Prime Minister regarding 1,500sq km under threat contradicts the lies repeated by the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, but does otherwise not have much substance.
Newfound unity among the villages around the land occupied by Thomson Safaris.

OBC and the government’s 1,500sq km land grab plan
In my latest update I mentioned a delegation of traditional leaders that had travelled to Dar es Salaam demanding to see the president about the announced threat to their lives and livelihoods - 1,500sq km of important dry season grazing land that also “happen” to be the core hunting area of Otterlo Business Corporation taken away by the government for “conservation”. The demands were not met and the delegation headed on to Dodoma to see Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda. In Dodoma the traditional leaders were joined by other delegations from Loliondo in what seemed like a rather fruitless and costly wait.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Delayed Updates about the Attackers on Land Rights in Loliondo – Thomson Safaris, OBC and, the Government of Tanzania

Thomson Safaris step up their propaganda while continuing the occupation of Maasai grazing land at their self-styled 'Enashiva Nature Reserve' – and their land grab PR person since 2007 appears as a graduate student in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy.
The Government through Tanzania National Parks Authorities and later the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism renews and intensifies the threat of grabbing a 1,500sq km “wildlife corridor”. And on 26th March 2013 the Government declares total war on the people of Loliondo.

To my frustration I’ve not been able to return to Loliondo for over a year and a half, but I’ve managed to obtain some information from a selection of very busy people. The information about some issues is still incomplete, but I can’t wait any longer to publish this ridiculously delayed update.

I did publish some reports I got from NCA in a separate blog post

Sunday, 14 April 2013

The “Other” Part of Ngorongoro District – A Few Reports that I got from Ngorongoro Conservation Area

I cut this out from an un-published blog post that was becoming too long and too old since I had problems making busy people check if I had understood their information correctly and since there were too many worrying developments in Loliondo that have since grown into a full declaration of war from the government (I’ve written about it here and here). I’ll shortly also post the information I had got about Thomson Safaris and about the “corridor”/OBC.

Hunger in NCA and a parliamentary committee recommends that Oldoinyo Lengai also be placed under the NCAA. Plus an almost unreported attack on Kakesio by a WMA “investor” from neighbouring district.

This blog is about Loliondo and I do need to study Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) more closely, but I’d like to share some worrying information that has reached me thanks to Solomon ole Yiapa, Kinama Marite and other people from the area.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Saturday, 23 March 2013

The Tanzanian Government Insists on Grabbing Maasai Land in Loliondo

The Tanzanian government, through the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Khamis Kagasheki, is moving forward with a plan of taking 1,500 square kilometres which are essential dry season grazing land for the Maasai of Loliondo in Ngorongoro District.

The main economic activity and source of livelihood of the people of Loliondo is pastoralism – moving livestock between seasonal grazing areas - that compared to other land uses is relatively compatible with wildlife – and this is a major reason that their land is so sought after by the tourism industry and the Government.

In 1959 all people were evicted from the vast Serengeti by the British Government for the purpose of establishing the National Park. Among them the Maasai that were moved to Ngorongoro Conservation Area and also to Loliondo. Contrary to promises the Tanzanian government has continued with a greedy eye on lands that it wants for the exclusive use of hunting and photographic tourism. Currently this greed is focused on a corridor of land in Loliondo Division of Ngorongoro District.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

The Beacons from Hell

The most recent efforts by the Tanzanian government to grab a “corridor” of land from the people of Loliondo

The threat of a corridor of extension of Serengeti National Park onto village land in Loliondo Division of Ngorongoro District has again reared its ugly head. On 20th November 2012 villagers from Ololosokwan went to Klein’s Gate and it was established that Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) were planning to put border beacons – that had been brought and were being stored - far inside land belonging to the village. They already tried this in 2008 and then the beacons were destroyed by angry villagers, some of whom were arrested for a few hours until fellow villagers forced their release. Through the years TANAPA have tried many bad tricks and then there have been times of uneventful coexistence. Similar attempts at expanding borders are going on around most protected areas in Tanzania.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Article about Loliondo land threats on Just Conservation’s website

On 2nd December Just Conservation – a network that’s an open space for all who care about the conservation of our world and who want to see it achieved with justice, compassion, dignity and honesty – published an article I had written as a short overview of land grabs in Loliondo.

Here is the link:

I’ll very soon publish a post about the current crisis caused by the government moving forward with the plans of grabbing a corridor of Loliondo land next to Serengeti National Park, and before the end of the year I have to post an update about Thomson Safaris and some other issues.

Odupoi Ndekerei  - one of the three young boys who in August were beaten at Thomson’s camp and arrested for “trespassing” and whose court case was dismissed since the prosecution did not show up and there was no supporting evidence - was yesterday again arrested by Thomson’s guard for “trespassing” and grazing cattle on the grabbed land. Today he remains at Loliondo police station without legal representation.

Thomson Safaris are also moving on with the absurd court case against five young herders that were arrested and humiliated in July. The main hearing is on the 14th December. It’s the abused people that should sue Thomson! Though I suppose there aren’t resources for this. At least the land case is continuing.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

The Negotiations – Another Update on Thomson Safaris’ Land Grab in Loliondo

I have got some information from Loliondo that I’ve tried to check with different sources and would like to share here on my blog.

Let’s start with the rare good news: the appeal was successful! On 31 May 2011 the case against Tanzania Conservation Ltd (Thomson Safaris) and Tanzania Breweries Ltd was dismissed on a preliminary objection. The objection was that it’s exactly the same case as in the late 80s, which is not correct. An appeal was sought and in May 2012 it was granted. Now there will be a full trial in the high court. The court case moves slowly delaying the deliverance of justice. I’m worried, but it seems people closer to the happenings seem confident that justice will prevail and the land will be returned to the community.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Revisiting Loliondo – a Safari Report

In early 2010 I visited Loliondo in Tanzania where I as a tourist wanted to ask some questions about the case of Boston-based Thomson Safaris establishing their private “Enashiva Nature Refuge” on Maasai grazing land and presenting it as a shining example of “community empowerment”. This led to an amazing overreaction that a clearly illustrated how Tanzanian authorities favour the interests of “investors” over those of the customary landowners when the Ngorongoro District Commissioner confiscated my passport and sent me to Arusha where I was declared a “prohibited immigrant” and thrown out of the country.
I’ve written about this HERE.

Towards the end of September 2011 my return was long overdue and I got a ticket for Nairobi. I had high expectations of, without getting into too much danger, talking with a wide selection of people who could share information about Thomson Safaris and also Otterlo Business Corporation, but these expectations were only partially fulfilled.

Monday, 11 July 2011

The Corridor - and the Story of OBC in Loliondo

Maasai pastoralists in Loliondo are under the threat of having a massive 1,500-km2 piece of dry season grazing land taken away from them by the Tanzanian government. This will have a decidedly negative impact on their livelihoods and has to be stopped.

I’ve been trying to find out the background, and this is a summary of what I’ve found so far. I may have to make some amendments if I receive information that I’ve been waiting for a bit too long now.