Tanzania: Green Mile Safari told to stop marketing revoked hunting block to tourists

Wednesday August 14 2019

Natural Resources and Tourism minister Hamisi

Natural Resources and Tourism minister Hamisi Kigwangalla. Photo |File 

By Mussa Juma @TheCitizenTz mjuma@tz.nationmedia.com

Arusha. Tanzania Wildlife Authority (Tawa) has directed hunting firm, Green Mile Safari, to stop marketing its hunting block to tourists.

This follows a recent decision by the Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Hamisi Kigwangala to revoke the company’s license in the Lake Natron (East) block.

Preventing the company from marketing the block to visitors, will pave the way for the government to repossess it (the hunting block), the Tawa commission of wildlife James Wakibara, said on Wednesday, August 14, 2019.

On August 7, Dr Kigwangala revoked the licence of Green Mile Safari in its Lake Natron block, for breaching of regulations.

The company was also embroiled in a long term conflicts with residents of 23 villagers, that surrounds the block.

“Tourists, who had already paid for hunting permits before the minister’s decision, should continue with their activities, but the company isn’t allowed to receive new tourists,” said Dr Wakibara in an interview with this paper.

Dr Wakibara added that Tawa is currently assessing contracts, which the company entered with various tourists, who are yet to arrive in the country, to see their legitimacy.

Longido District Commissioner Mr Frank Mwaisumbe commended the ministry for its decision to revoke the company’s licence.

Mr Mwaisumbe said the company owes the surrounding villages more than Sh336 million though uncollected levies.

Dr Kigwangalla revoked the company’s licence over allegation of breach of hunting laws and regulations.

However, the company’s managing director, Mr Awadh Abdallah, said in a statement that the firm had not received any official communication from the ministry.

He said the ministry’s statement, which has circulated widely on social media, was “a fabrication”, and urged the company’s customers and the public in general to ignore it.

In 2014 the then Natural Resources and Tourism minister, Mr Lazaro Nyalandu, revoked the firm’s hunting licence in Gonabis/Kidunda WMA and MK1-Selous for allegedly violating domestic and international laws.

He accused the company of hunting with automatic weapons fitted with silencers, hunting female and young animals and using vehicles to chase and knock down animals, which are all prohibited.

The company was also accused of allowing visitors to go hunting unaccompanied by a professional hunter or game scout, hunting animals and birds not listed on its licence and allowing a client younger than 18 years old to hunt.