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High Court gives green light for Loliondo Residents to legally fight for their land
The High Court of Tanzania, through its Arusha Registry has ruled that the residents of Loliondo who have been appealing against the government decision to secede their indigenous customary land, that they can file the case to this effect.
The case to be soon filed 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.
The government had annexed 1500 square kilometers of the former Loliondo Game Controlled Area (LGCA), converting it into the new Pololeti Game Reserve which restricts herders from venturing into the now protected zone.
Previously the applicants, being represented by Advocates Alais Melau, Denis Mosses and Yohana Masiaya lodged the Petition Number 9 of 2022 on the Judicial Review Application against the Proclamation of the Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism.
The Judicial Review (GN no 421) dated 17th June 2022 has just sailed through with the High Court ruling that the villagers indeed have a case.
Now the villagers will file the legal case against the Ministry of Tourism against converting a patch of land, in the formerly Game Controlled Area, into a Game Reserve.
They have been arguing that they have been using the area for livestock grazing since time in memorial.
The mostly indigenous Maasai Pastoralists 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.
They are pointing out that freedom of worship is their constitutional right.
It was also their grazing land, watering precinct for cattle and sometimes also passageway to their residential homes.
Loliondo, initially a game-controlled area, is part of the three divisions making up the Ngorongoro District of Arusha, others being Sale and Ngorongoro.
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