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13 Nov 2017

Erick Kabendera, The EastAfrican (Kenya)

Tanzania: Govt. ends hunting deal with Ortelo Business Corporation & launches investigation for alleged corruption; locals had alleged company denied them access to water

"Tanzania ends hunting deal near Loliondo with UAE royal family; compromised government official"

Tanzania has terminated a 25-year-old hunting concession with a United Arab Emirates royal family-owned company as it launches investigations into the dealings of the company and former tourism ministers. Newly appointed Natural Resources Minister Hamisi Kigwangalla has ordered the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) to arrest and investigate Isaac Mollel, executive director of the Ortelo Business Corporation (OBC), which is a game-hunting outfit owned by a Dubai leader, for trying to bribe him and his predecessors. Dr Kigwangalla also called for the investigation of former ministers. The termination of the concession marks the end of the controversial agreement. Activists, MPs and Maasai people who live in the Loliondo area in northern Tanzania have been involved in the battle against the takeover of the 4,000-square-kilometre block...

Tanzania granted the concession to the Dubai leader for wildlife conservation and management in the Loliondo Game Controlled Area in November 1992, but the local Maasai people have since been complaining that they were never involved in the process despite living in the area. Under the agreement, local pastoralists were allowed to graze within the concession area. However, elders from six villages of the Loliondo Game Controlled Area say they are not allowed into the block awarded to the royal family and have to leave the area whenever the royal family arrives for hunting expeditions. They further claim that OBC denies them access to water and grazing land on the grounds that people from the eight surrounding villages are trespassing on the concession area.