Sunday, November 16, 2014

Maasai mob torches tourist camp

By Daniel Mjema ,The Citizen Reporter

Moshi. A group of Maasai pastoralists have torched an upmarket Ndarakwai tourists camp in Siha District, Kilimanjaro Region, the camp, which had 16 huts was equivalent to a four star hotel.

Reports from the site noted that a reception, 17 rooms and curio shop were all destroyed by fire set by the pastoralists who invaded the camp in search of grazing areas.

Reports say that the herders decided to invade the camp believing that its border has been extended to their area which extends to Longido District.

Personnel from the Field Force Unit (FFU) had to use tear gas to quell the chaos which started at around noon and lasted until 6pm on Friday.

But as of yesterday there was tension in the area which was still being guarded by heavily armed law enforcers. Though they were dispersed, pastoralists were mobilising and authorities feared that they might mount another attack on the facility.

The camp, owned by a Briton, Peter Jones, is situated in an 11,000-acre farm.

Fortunately, no one was injured as before the attack all people, including tourists and workers were shifted to nearby Olpoponyi camp.

Contacted yesterday the Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner, Mr Leonidas Gama, who also doubles as chairman of the Regional Peace and Security Committee, conformed yesterday of the incident noting that he was personally heading to the site.

“I am going there to see first hand what happened. I also want to talk directly to all parties concerned and after that I will be in a good position to give my comments,” he said shortly.

The farm is situated in the border between Siha and Longido Districts. Well kept environments is what attracts many tourists to the secluded area.