The legal matter regarding the residents of Loliondo petitioning against the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism’s move to annex what they consider to be their customary land resumes in the High Court.
But contrary to the Civic and Legal Aid Organization (CILAO) appeal to the High Court Judge, Mohammed Gawe, that the case be broadcast live, their wish has been thwarted.
The organization wants the ongoing Loliondo case hearing to be open to the general public, according to the letter signed by the organization’s Executive Director Odero Charles.
CILAO also wants electronic media outlets allowed to broadcast the proceedings live.
The case being heard at the Arusha Registry of the Tanzania High Court is being presided over by the high court Judge, Justice Mohamed Gwae.
Loliondo residents filed a case against the Proclamation of the Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism (GN no 421) dated 17th June 2022 regarding converting a patch of land, in the formerly Game Controlled Area, into a Game Reserve.
The case pits local villagers of Loliondo, in Ngorongoro District, against the Respondents, who are the Attorney General of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism.
Representing other villagers in the petition, five residents from the affected villages want the court to nullify the government’s order that prevents villagers from venturing into the demarcated 1500 square kilometers of the now reserved land.
The new patch is known as Pololeti Game Reserve.
The applicants, being represented by Advocates Alais Melau, Denis Mosses and Yohana Masiaya argue that they have been using the area for livestock grazing since time in memorial.
They also claim that the central part of the forest, which is now restricted, has always served as their traditional shrine for worship and other faith related activities, pointing out that freedom of worship is their constitutional right.
Loliondo, initially a game-controlled area, is part of the three divisions making up the Ngorongoro District of Arusha, others being Sale and Ngorongoro.