Foreign investor in racism row THISDAY REPORTER Dar es Salaam A SOUTH African investor involved in a multi-million dollar project involving the construction of luxury lodges in the Selous Game Reserve, is at the centre of a racism row that has left the development of the key tourism project reeling in crisis. Roland Vincent is accused of uttering racist slurs against Tanzanians, including a senior official of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism which oversees the countrys tourism sector. The South African, currently overseeing the construction of the Malala luxury lodges in the Selous, is alleged to have referred to local Tanzanians as black monkeys, and is accused of other racial slurs and bias. A senior official with the tourism ministry who allegedly suffered racist verbal abuse from Vincent officially reported the matter to the management of Sea Cliff Hotel in Dar es Salaam, which is the main company behind the development of the luxury lodges in the Selous. When contacted by THISDAY, Sea Cliff Hotel General Manager Keven Stander confirmed that formal complaints against Vincents reported racist slurs have been made. Stander said the hotels board of directors has already cautioned Vincent about his alleged racist behaviour. I cannot comment on additional racist remarks because I spend very little time in the camp sites where Mr Vincent is supervising construction and overseeing the labour force, he added. Among other things, Vincent, who is also one of the Sea Cliff Hotel directors, is accused of mistreating and harassing the companys workers in the Selous project. Several of them, claiming to have been victimised by his allegedly racist abuse, have said he even forces local workers to stand up whenever he passes by. They claim that Vincent has been promoting a master-slave mentality, and even refuses to give workers permission to attend funerals. One member of the companys local staff, speaking on condition of not being named for fear of retribution from Vincent, told THISDAY in an interview this week: We have made formal complaints against this man (Vincent) to the company management since September or October last year, but nothing has been done. He continues to abuse Tanzanians in our own land with incessant racist slurs. When contacted for comment, Vincent himself told THISDAY he was currently on a business trip to Dubai, but hastened to dismiss the allegations of his being a racist. I am not happy about these allegations directed at me, which are untrue and vindictive, he said. I must tell you that I am not a racist some of my best friends in Dar are black people and therefore these types of comments are very unfair. In fact, if anything, I look after my staff better than anyone in the Selous, Vincent added.