Afrikan News And History Post New Entry

Tanzania evicting 80,000 people from their homeland to make room for Dubai royal family

Posted by The Reunion Black Family on November 18, 2014 at 4:15 AM

Masai people living in northern Tanzania are facing eviction from their historical homeland, as the Tanzanian government reportedly reneged on a promise and is proceeding with plans to remake the land into a hunting reserve for Dubai's royal family.


There are about 80,000 Masai living on the 1,500 square kilometer “wildlife corridor” bordering the famous Serengeti National Park. They are known for their semi-nomadic ways and have their own distinctive culture.

 

The original proposal by a company based in the United Arab Emirates to turn the land into a commercial hunting park was turned down last year.

 

But the deal seems back on track now and the Masai people were notified to leave their ancestral lands by the end of the year.

 

Tanzania’s prime minister, Mizengo Pinda, is scheduled to meet with the Masai’s representatives, who will speak out against the decision.

 

In their view, the sale of the territory will in some way or another impact the lives of at least 80,000 people and will leave those residing on the land without their heritage or livelihood, as Masai are reliant on the livestock living on the land.

 

In return for the sale, the government has proposed to offer an investment of one billion shillings (US$590,000) into socio-economic projects, which the Masai people have rejected.

 

“I feel betrayed,”co-ordinator of the local Ngonett civil society group, Samwel Nangiria, told PALM.

“One billion is very little and you cannot compare that with land. It’s inherited. Their mothers and grandmothers are buried in that land. There’s nothing you can compare with it.”

Nangiria revealed his suspicions that the government probably never intended to back down from the proposal.“They had to pretend they were dropping the agenda to fool the international press.”

 

Those who speak out publicly against the deal in Tanzania get killed by local authorities, Nangiria said, adding that his life was threatened as well.

“For me it is dangerous on a personal level. They said: ‘We discovered you are the mastermind, you want to stop the government using the land.' Another said: ‘You have decided to shorten your life. The hands of the government are too long. Put your family ahead of the Masai.’”

 

Last year, an international media campaign against the hunting reserve proposal was led by theonline activism site Avaaz.org.

 

The organization was behind the ‘Stop the Serengeti Sell-off’ petition, which gathered more than 1.7 million signatures. It also organized protests against the move.

 

“The Masai stare out from every tourism poster, but Tanzania’s government wants to kick them off their land so foreign royalty can hunt elephants there,”campaign director for Avaaz, Alex Wilks, said.

 

“Two million people around the world have backed the Masai’s call for president Jakaya Kikwete to fulfill his promise to let them stay where they’ve always lived. Treating the Masai as the great unwanted would be a disaster for Tanzania and Africa's


Categories: Africa, Kenya, World

Post a Comment

Oops!

Oops, you forgot something.

Oops!

The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.

Already a member? Sign In

4 Comments

Reply mutebi ronald
7:42 AM on November 18, 2014 
thats bullshit
Reply EBVV
5:13 PM on November 18, 2014 
PLEASE TELL ME WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP STOP THIS AND REACH OUT TO ALL LEADERS OF AFRICA, THAT THEY CAN'T LET THESE FOREFINGERS TAKE OVER THE MOTHER LAND. AFRICANS CAN'T GO TO THEIR LAND AND DO THIS.
Reply Kimberly Pendarvis
10:08 AM on November 21, 2014 
I am so absolutely blown away by this. I will see that the world had rode a sensitivity towards this country buy now since its detriment 500 years ago. I would not be upset about it if it were a land that was not being used. I'm sure that there are other locations that are not being used by inhabitants in that gigantic continent. Why on earth would you subject others to relocate while you hunt game? Do these people not have souls? I'm beginning to wonder if that is the case if they could just freely spend X amount of dollars on such a project. I have heard of the Masai, think they are are a very cultural, traditional group that should be preserved, and I live in America. After what the Europeans did, any other forms of selfish actions should be banned from the country. People should not be allowed to spend their money in order to kick natives off. I personally wish there was more that I can do from my country, but I certainly protest, and detest this action that the government is trying to perform. They really should consider their own families and friends and how they would feel if someone came and said we're kicking you off your land and you have one year to be gone. Has that crossed their minds you think?
Reply Sally
12:50 PM on January 9, 2015 
It's a shame! Only in Africa.. Apparently they tried this with the Kenyan government some few years ago but it din't work. So they retaliated with turning down working visas for Kenyans in UAE. In fact, some of the Emirates still doesn't issue work permits to Kenyans up to date. Abu Dhabi is one of them..