Tanzania president vows Maasai to stay

2014-11-24 17:11
Maasai walking in the bush. (File)

Maasai walking in the bush. (File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Dar es Salaam - Tanzania's president has vowed never to evict the Maasai people from their traditional lands, which activists claimed were threatened by plans for a hunting reserve for the wealthy.

"There has never been, nor will there ever be any plan by the government of Tanzania to evict the Maasai people from their ancestral land," President Jakaya Kikwete said in a message on Twitter on Sunday.

Tanzania last week dismissed as false the claims by global activist group Avaaz it had ambitions to turn 1 500km² of land in the Loliondo district into a hunting reserve for a company catering to the royal family of the United Arab Emirates.

Natural Resources and Tourism Minister Lazaro Nyalandu said the "government has no such plans and never entertained the idea of evicting the Maasai."

Avaaz, which launched an online petition against the alleged plans that collected 1.7 million signatures, claimed Maasai community leaders had been told they would be offered about €466 200 for their lands, about €12 each for 40 000 of them to leave.

Avaaz welcomed the promise by Tanzania.

"This is a massive breakthrough," Avaaz campaign director Sam Barratt said.

"For the first time in 20 years, a Tanzanian president has definitively said the Maasai are safe on their land. Over two million people around the world have stood arm in arm with the Maasai to keep foreign hunters at bay."

The land borders the Serengeti national park, where animals cross into neighbouring Kenya's Maasai Mara park following seasonal grazing.

The government scrapped plans for a hunting park in Loliondo last year.

Read more on:    jakaya kikwete  |  tanzania  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.