The Tanzanian government must respond to allegations that it is displacing the Maasai, to make way for international hunting.
“We urge the Government of Tanzania to speak for itself and not remain silent while we continue to be bombarded by news that it [Tanzania] has suddenly become the bad boy of international hunting in Africa ‘for displacing the Maasai community’ from the Ngorongoro Crater,” said the South Africa-based chairman of the Sustainable Use Coalition (SUCO), Dr. Herman Els.
Meanwhile, Kenyan national Mr. James Mulaitu has made stunning revelations that Tanzania “is not at all guilty of displacing the Maasai Community.”
The real issue at play according to Mr. Mulaitu in his June 13, 2022 media article was that, “the government of Kenya has started misleading the world on the alleged displacement of the Maasai for reasons driven not by sympathy towards the Maasai Community but driven by an economic rivalry between the two East African countries.”
According to Mr Mulaitu, Tanzania under its new President Samia Suluhu has engineered economic strategies that “may soon outsmart the Kenyan economy.”
He said that sponsored media and special task forces in his country (Kenya) “are now busy misleading the world through false videos, pictures, and creating artificial scenes showing the Maasai in Ngorongoro Crater badly beaten, injured, admitted, and treated in Kenyan hospitals.”
“All of these scenes are created and disseminated on one fabricated theme: the government [Tanzanian Government] is forcing the Maasai out of their native villages to allow the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and some Western countries to use the land for their hunting safaris.”
SUCO Chair Dr. Els said that as the supporters of conservation and humanitarian-focused international hunting, “we’re not interested in the economic rivalry between Kenya and Tanzania but the welfare of the Maasai Community and the international hunting industry.
“In our view international hunting should support not alienate communities from hunting benefits.
“Therefore, we’re concerned at the unwarranted and opportunistic attempts by Western animal rights groups fundraising industry [as indicated in Mr Mulaitu’s media article] ‘to demonise Tanzania’s international hunting via the Kenyan media and some functionaries that it has long-captured’.”
Dr. Els said that SUCO cannot keep quiet when hunting on the African continent is “apparently” being misrepresented with a far-reaching impact on other parts of Africa.
“We know Tanzania as a revolutionary people’s government,” said Dr. Els.
“Accordingly, we call upon the Tanzania government to tell us the truth about the alleged displacement of the Maasai Community from Ngorongoro Crater.
“The truth of the matter can’t be left to a well-placed Kenyan national Mr. Mulaitu who has spoken out in a media article published on 13 June 2022.”
About the writer: Emmanuel Koro is a Johannesburg-based environmental journalist who writes independently on environment and development issues in Africa and is the author of the book: Western Celebration of African Poverty – Animal Rights Versus Human Rights.
*The views expressed by the writer Emmanuel Koro are not necessarily those of The Bulrushes.