The Times of Tanzania
Eastern Africa News Network, Breaking News Tanzania

Ngorongoro Residents say there is ‘Big Trouble’ in the Conservation Area

There is trouble in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, where representatives of various villages are reported to be hounded with a series of night arrests, such that most men are fleeing from their homes.

Speaking during their joint meeting with members of the press in Arusha the elders from Ngorongoro revealed that of late nearly 40 people were arrested in the Conservation Area and held in a number of police stations within the precinct, Karatu, Loliondo and Manyara.

“Our people are being picked up in a series of mass arrests, some being detained for over a week without trial, men have fled their homes leaving women and young ones, but of late even children have also started to be attacked,” stated the Chairperson of the Ngorongoro Pastoralists Council, Edward Maura.

But there is more from a joint statement written by the residents of Ngorongoro Division.

It was read in public by the Bulati Village Chairperson, Sabore Ngarus.

The report indicates that there is great pressure being exerted onto them to leave their native land.

“Recently Ngorongoro Wardens smashed the jaw of a small herder boy with the butt of the gun, rendering the child maimed for life, they are now attacking even small babies,” Ngarus, who hails from Nainokanoka ward read from the joint statement.

In response to those claims, there was an official statement from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) dated on 25 August 2023 and dispatched from Karatu.

As far as the Ngorongoro Conservation Management is concerned, there was no evidence that the boy Joshua Patorro from Nainokanoka was attacked by NCAA rangers.

According to the statement, the incident regrading the boy being allegedly attacked by rangers was reported back on July 13, 2023.

The NCAA management later organized meetings with local ward elders to address the situation including reporting the matter to the police for further investigations.

But, according to Ngorongoro Residents, Joshua Ole Patorro the victim whose jaw was broken by the alleged ranger, was quoted mentioning the person who attacked him as Elibariki Israel Namungu a ranger.

Now, regarding the reported series of arrests targeting local residents in the area, the report from Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority claimed that some 200 Maasai youth had attacked ‘journalists,’ in the precinct.

The management say the reported arrests target ‘suspects,’ behind the said attacks.

However, Advocate Joseph Ole Shangai, the lawyer representing Ngorongoro Residents in the matter, claimed that the people who were attacked ‘were not journalists.’

“They were strangers who turned up at the marketplace, held an unofficial public rally and started to convince the local residents to leave their homes and move to Msomela area of Tanga Region where alternative residences were prepared for them,” said Ole Shangay.

“What type of journalists’ stage rallies to preach to people to vacate their homeland?” the Advocate inquired.

Recently also the Member of Parliament for Ngorongoro Constituency, Emmanuel Lekishon Shangai was picked up by the police in Karatu and held for more than 24 hours until his lawyers threatened to file a writ of habeas corpus at the High Court of Tanzania.

The legislator was later released on bail according to one of his representatives, Advocate Alais Melau.

MP Shangai wrote on his tweeter account that, the suffering he was being forced to undergo was because he stands firmly in support of his subjects.

An explanation from the Arusha Regional Police Commander, ACP Justine Masejo was on the contrary.

The Police Boss said the Ngorongoro Member of Parliament was also arrested in connection with a recent incident in which some people, believed to be journalists, were attacked in the conservation area.

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