Actualités : Tanzanie

Investors demand Bunge team sacking
Monday, 06 August 2012 23:11 digg_url = ' + location.href + '; digg_title = 'Investors demand Bunge team sacking'; digg_bodytext = ''; digg_bgcolor = '#ffffff'; digg_window = 'new'; By Lucas LigangaThe Citizen Chief ReporterDar es Salaam. Stakeholders are asking Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Anne Makinda, to disband the parliamentary committee for Lands, Natural Resources and the Environment for “it’s mishandling of the tourist hunting industry.” The call comes in the wake of the committee’s recent presentation of its report on the state of this sub-sector, which was subsequently found to be flawed.On April 23 this year, the chairman of the parliamentary committee for Lands, Natural Resources and Environment, Mr James Lembeli,  told Parliament that 16 hunting firms were allotted hunting blocks that they had not applied for.His report alleged that FOA Hunting Safaris Limited and Mbogo Hunting Safaris Limited were among those given unsolicited access to the said hunting grounds. However, it was later established that none of them had been given the hunting the said blocks.

The report also singled out several additional tour operators including Mkwawa Hunting Safaris (T) Limited, Fereck Safaris Limited and EBN Hunting Safaris Limited. Additionally, African Trophy Hunting Limited, Michel Mantheakis Safaris Ltd and Safari Club Ltd were also allegedly beneficiaries of unsolicited hunting licensing.  Lembeli, who is the CCM legislators for Kahama would later admit that his committee’s briefing to Parliament was actually flawed. “It seems these two hunting companies weren’t given any blocks; it is a mistake done by people involved in compiling the report,” he said.The managing director for Michel Mantheakis Safaris Ltd, Mr Michel Mantheakis, yesterday asked the Speaker to launch a probe into the committee, saying its activities are “questionable.” “I don’t know where the committee got information that my company had been allocated hunting blocks I hadn’t applied for” he said. “We actually were only given access to two of the ten blocks I had asked for!”He went on: “It is obvious to me that the report was manipulated, since it includes two companies that were not allocated anything.”  He said he knew of several other companies that were wrongly included on the list as they too had only been allotted blocks they applied for. He argued that inaccuracies in the report pointed to dirty business tactics involving politicians. “Not every report submitted in Bunge is 100 per cent true, as is the case here,” he said.Following these developments, there has been pressure from foreign companies that lost out in the initial bidding process. These companies have reportedly mounted a charm offensive, cajoling politicians into pressuring the government to order a review of the allotments.The Citizen has learned that some of these firms are lobbying to overturn current legislation, which gives preference to indigenous firms when it comes to dishing out hunting blocks.Despite stakeholder protests over how the issue was handled, the only recourse available to them is going to court. According to the laws of the land, aggrieved parties should be filing petitions at the High Court, not in Parliament.In May this year, four hunting firms made petitioned the office of the Speaker, asking that they be absolved of any blame arising from what they called “unfounded allegations” levelled against them by the Lands, Natural Resources and Environment Committee.Their appeal was contained in a letter to the Speaker, written through their lawyers, Dar es Salaam-based FK Law Chambers, complaining that the report by the Committee has tarnished their otherwise good image in both the local and the international tourism circles.The principal petitioners were Robin Hurt Safaris Tanzania Ltd, Michel Mantheakis Safaris Ltd, Melami Hunting Safaris Company Ltd and Fereck Safaris Ltd.The letter advocates Dr A. M. Mapunda, Mr D. M. Duncan, Mr S.S. Mayenga and Mr J. S. Noel said findings on pages 45, 46 and 47 of the report made unfounded claims against their clients, implying they were engaged in corrupt, criminal practices.The brief said the report claimed there were procedural irregularities in processing applications from aforementioned companies. The attorneys claim the Lands Committee had made unfounded allegations in its claims that the block allocation process was marred by a lack of transparency and that it smacked of corruption.In their brief, attorneys for this consortium of hunting companies say their clients followed the letter of the law in lodging and processing their applications for hunting blocks. The firms produced evidence in the form of copies of block application forms and block fee receipts showing that their clients only got licences to blocks they had asked for.

Article publié le mardi 7 août 2012
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