Saturday, 10 December 2016

Vicious Media Campaign for the Renewal of the 1,500 km2 Land Grab Threat in Loliondo

The editor of the Mtanzania and the RAI, Masyaga Matinyi, is apparently the new media spokesperson for OBC.

Update since next blog post is delayed: PM Majaliwa did not declare any land grab and recognised the village land, but did not in any way speak up against the rule of terror.

Vicious media campaign and aborted visit by the PM
On 17th November the RAI newspaper published an article, Pori tengefu Loliondo lishushwe daraja (I), - presented as information for the government, conservation stakeholders and Tanzanians - inciting against the people of Loliondo and praising OBC in the usual style, so well-known from Manyerere Jackton’s over 20 articles in the Jamhuri – lying that Loliondo is a “protected” area threatened by cattle – many from Kenya – and agriculture, mentioning Karkamoru with its proximity to OBC¨s camp as a particularly bad example, and describing the Emirati hunters as involved in development and conservation. The writer claims that the government has failed to implement the Wildlife Conservation Act of 2009 in Loliondo, conveniently forgetting how this Act makes it clear that the new kind of Game Controlled Area that’s a protected area can’t overlap with village land, which is what all land in Loliondo is classified as, and intents at imposing this kind of GCA have been stopped. This article does not add the usual wilfully demented and delusional talk about who would be “benefitting from destroying the Serengeti ecosystem”, but it was only “part one”. The version available online doesn’t show the “journalist’s” name, but the editor of the Mtanzania and the RAI, Masyaga Matinyi, had in a chat on 4th November, between editors of media houses and President Magufuli, posed a question about a very big threat against conservation that “a person in Loliondo” … had told him about the previous day, and that consisted of 800,000 (!) cattle – many from Kenya – entering Serengeti National Park. Some very trustworthy people viewed the president’s reply positively, since he talked about the lack of meat processing plants making it impossible for pastoralists the reduce their herds, but before that Magufuli said that allowing grazing in Ngorongoro and “Serengeti” (the latter obviously not allowed) was something “temporary”, and appointing generals to TANAPA showed what the government wanted to do, which was followed by laughter from part of the audience. I found this spine-chilling, but could have missed something due to my limited Swahili. At least Magufuli seems not to have understood that the question was about Loliondo and, as the following article showed, at the service of the “investor”. This was not the first time for the RAI newspaper.