The Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism has revoked hunting blocks licences owned by Green Miles Safaris Limited following alleged gross violation of sports hunting regulations.
Addressing a news conference in Dar es Salaam on Friday, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Lazaro Nyalandu said the revoked hunting blocks include Lake Natron GC East, G o n a b i s / K i d u n d a – WMA and MKI-Selous in Selous Game Reserve.
“The move must serve as a strong warning to tourism hunting companies in the country in regard to violation of laws, legislations and hunting regulations,” he said.
The move also led to termination of all the hunting permits issued in the current hunting season. According to the Minister, investigations conducted by a team of experts from the Wildlife Department established that the Company violated the Wildlife Conservation Act (No. 5 of 2009), following numerous irregularities in their hunting activities.
Some of the irregularities committed by the company include, allowing their visitors to hunt wild animals prohibited in the hunting licences contrary to section 19(1)(2) of the Act; visitors playing with young zebras contrary to section 19(1); allowing their visitors to chase and shoot the wildlife animals (Section 56 (1) (a) 1) and hunting under age wild animals (56 (1)).
Other mistakes included, allowing children less than 16 years of age to take part in hunting animals (Section 43 (20 (a) and visitors scaring the animals while hunting (Section 19 (1) and (2).
The investigations came after the Shadow Natural Resources and Tourism Minister, Peter Msigwa, condemned the Green Miles Safari officials for breaching existing regulations on Wildlife Conservation in Selous Game Reserve.
In a press conference in Dar es Salaam recently, Mr Msigwa showed a video clip to journalists that indicated how the officials from the company (Green Miles Safari Limited) were violating the legislations and regulations in the Game Reserve.
“Following the condemnation, we tasked a team of experts from the Department of Wildlife who went through the clip and later established that the Company violated the Wildlife Conservation Act No. 5 of 2009,” said the Minister.
Regardless of people’s standards, nation, colour, region or tribe…no one is allowed to violate the laws governing the country.
“Our country and its resources are owned by all Tanzanians. It is strictly prohibited for any person or company both local and foreign to sabotage the country’s economy by destroying the resources,” he insisted.
Mr Nyalandu said the government is committed to ensure such companies are banned from taking part in wildlife activities.
On the other hand, the Minister conceded that the Wildlife Department’s competence was limited, a situation that calls for its rationalization to help control poor performance in wildlife conservation.
“There are a lot of weaknesses in regard to management and performance of the department,” he said adding that the move calls for establishment of Wildlife Authority, a plan which is already in the cards.
By ANNE ROBI, Tanzania Daily News