Three Trekking firms outcry irregularities in Makao Hunting Block Auction
Three out of the four firms that have been bidding for hunting concessions in the prime block located within the Makao Wildlife Management Area, have joined hands in protest against the outcome of the latest auction.
The villages’ owned, contested Wildlife Management Area is located in Makao Ward of Meatu District in Simiyu Region.
The floated Tender for the Makao WMA Hunting Block bidding, involved Bushman Safari Trackers Limited, Kilombero North safaris Limited, EBN Hunting Safaris and the incumbent Mwiba Holdings Limited.
It seems Kilombero North Safaris Limited which submitted the bid latest, has won the offer, much to the disappointment of the other three candidates.
The others are complaining that the tendering process was compromised in favour of the firm which now gets the business in Makao conservancy.
“Each firm placed its own bidding, but we were surprised that the winner who came in after the tender was closed, got favoured to not only enter its own tender but also to see how much the other entities were bidding for, then topped their figure thus emerging the winner in the end,” said Elibariki Lucas the representative of Mwiba Holdings.
Makao WMA measures 788 square kilometers while the corresponding Mwiba Ranch is mapped within 247 kilometers.
The prime area is characterised by woodlands, bushes, a few grasslands, water ponds, and rivers all dotted with various species of wildlife.
Together with the representatives of the other two firms, that placed bids, including Bushman Safaris Trackers and EBN Hunting Safaris, Lucas says the tendering process was dubious and went against laws and regulations.
“We want the results nullified and all firms to start bidding afresh on fair and even playing or equal tendering grounds,” said the Mwiba Holdings official.
However the Makao Wildlife Management Area (MWMA) Secretary, Jeremiah Nishon while admitting that they have received complaints from the three contesting firms, the tender which was broken on December 5, 2023 had taken into consideration the fact that local villages need to benefit more from the highest bidder and nothing else.
“We have received written appeals from Bushman Safaris and EBN as for Mwiba they sent their written complaints to higher authorities,” explained Jeremiah Nishon.
Mwiba Holdings Limited has been operating hunting concessions in Makao for more than 10 years and wanted to renew the trekking tender.
But Nishon insists that Kilombero North emerged the winner for topping the amount of money to be paid as annual rent to the villages for operating on the block.
Previously, during the company’s tenure, Mwiba Holdings used to pay a fee of 198 million/- in annual rent.
Kilombero North, according to the Makao WMA Secretary, is ready to settle 650 million/- per year in the form of rental fees on the block, which is more than three-times the sum which Mwiba used to pay.
During the latest bidding process, however, Mwiba was ready to top the amount and reach 630 million/- becoming the highest bidder beating EBN which offered 437 million/- and Bushman Safaris that was ready to settle 382 million/-.
However after the hammer fell, suddenly Kilombero North entered and rolled out more cash to that effect, winning the bid.