Green Mile expelled from hunting block

Wednesday January 22 2020

Longido District security committee members

Longido District security committee members visit a hunting block around Lake Natron to assess the implementation of the ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism directive, which sought Green Mile to vacate the area. PHOTO| Mussa Juma 

By Mussa Juma @mjuma

Arusha. The Longido District security committee has removed  Green Miles from the Lake Natron (East) hunting block and closed down the company’s camp, being an implementation of the directive given by the ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism.
The removal, therefore, ends the conflict between the company, government and 23 surrounding villages, which have existed in the area for many years.
The decision was announced yesterday by the District Administrative Secretary, Mr Toba Nguvila, who was accompanied by the committee members, who visited the area to confirm the implementation of the ministry’s directive.
Speaking with journalists at the area, the Arusha Regional Anti-poaching Unit (KDU) public relation officer, Mr Emmanuel Pius, said they have decided to forcefully remove the investor from the block, after he previously resisted to comply. “They were required to vacate the area on January 20, this year, but they resisted. So, the Tanzania Wildlife Authority (Tawa) commissioner directed the regional security committee to forcefully remove them,” he said.
On August 7 last year, the docket’s minister, Dr Hamisi Kigwangala, announced the government’s decision to remove Green Mile after violating hunting procedures.
However, the company asked the government to extend the deadline to December 16 last year when they would have handed it over, but they claimed that there were tourists who were still carrying out hunting activities.
Last Saturday, the Londigo District Commissioner, Mr Frank Mwaisumbe, said the permanent secretary of the ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Prof Adolf Mkenda, issued another statement, requiring the company to vacate on January 20.
Green Mile has been in a conflict with 23 villages surrounding the block, concerning Sh350 million, which the villages were supposed to receive from the company.
Some of the violations, according to Mr Mwaisumbe, were failure to control poaching after the killings of 16 giraffes in the block, the claim the company denies. Green Mile camp manager Lazaro Lembrice said they have no information about vacating the area as its owner identified as Awadh Abdallah was outside the country.