Activists up in arms over Loliondo report



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Activists up in arms over Loliondo report

By Felister Peter

24th February 2010

Lands, Natural Resources and Environment Committee, chaired by Kongwa MP, Job Ndugai.

Human rights activists have expressed concern over parliament's decision to delay presentation of the report on alleged human rights abuses during the eviction of pastoralists from the Loliondo Game Controlled Area in Ngorongoro district, Arusha region.
The report on violation of human rights at Loliondo was to be presented in the 18th Parliamentary Meeting by the Lands, Natural Resources and Environment Committee, chaired by Kongwa MP, Job Ndugai.

It was to give a clear picture of what happened in the area following complaints filed by Ngorongoro MP, Saningo Ole Telele in Parliament in July last year.

Speaking to The Guardian yesterday the Director, Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) Francis Kiwanga said they are planning to raise the issue during the countrywide march.
"We weren't happy with the Parliament decision because every citizen was anxious to hear the contents of the report. This is misuse of public funds since the committee spent a lot of money in its investigations," said Kiwanga.

Alfred Myenzi, Director of the Land Rights Research and Resources Institute (HAKIARDHI) said it wasn't fair for the Parliament to delay such an important matter which was meant to clear all doubts concerning allegations of acts of abuse such as rape and torture.
He said Loliondo communities lost their properties and loved ones, whereby more than two hundred Maasai bomas were burnt, leaving thousands of people homeless.

Myenzi said they expected to see some government officials and other responsible persons being arraigned for violation of human rights.

The Ngorongoro MP wanted to get clarification on14 areas including reports of gross violation of human rights during the eviction of pastoralists who had settled in the Loliondo area.
Ole Telele also wanted explanation on reports that some of those evicted from the area were pastoralists from neighbouring Kenya.

He also required explanation on reports that Ottarlo Business Cooperation (OBC) which has leased the area for hunting was killing more animals than stated in its licence and why the company has built an airport along the game path.

Some of the villages said to have been affected during the exercise include Arash, Soitsambu, Oloipiri, Ololosukwan, Loosoito and Oloirien.

Reached for comments the Chairman of a Parliamentary Committee on Land, Natural Resources and Environment Job Ndugai said that he will be in a position to talk on the matter after a week.

The Deputy Speaker of National Assembly Anne Makinda discounted charges of deliberate delaying of the presentation, saying that the Loliondo report was postponed to the next meeting due to a tight schedule.

"It was a rush. We had to push the issue and some of the bills to the next parliamentary meetings", she said.


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