The Times of Tanzania
Eastern Africa News Network

‘No alien aircraft is lifting off wildlife!’ Tanzania refutes speculations

Tanzania through the country’s Information Service (Maelezo) is finally issuing an official statement against recent allegations that some strange aircrafts have been lifting off wild animals from the national reserves.

Gerson Msigwa who heads the Tanzania Information Services has released an audio statement refuting speculations that there are some foreign planes that have been landing in Ngorongoro.

He also dismissed claims that the flying machines have been loading up wild animals from the newly created Pololeti Game Reserve of Loliondo.

His response follows the recent development involving a video clip showing a low flying aircraft.

The plane was apparently filmed while hovering above some remote and bushy location alleged to be in Northern Tanzania.

The controversial video has been going viral online and in a number of social media platforms.

The short video is dubbed with a voiced over commentator claiming that the plane being seen in the said clip was about to land in Loliondo.

Now, Loliondo happens to be one of the three divisions in the Ngorongoro District of Arusha Region.

It is also an area which is always steeped in conservation related conflicts.

The commentator in the video clip goes ahead to insinuate that the aircraft was flying into the wilderness with the sole purpose of smuggling out wild animals.

It is yet to be confirmed if the plane was indeed flying in the Northern parts of Tanzania, let alone above Loliondo or Ngorongoro, but the video to that effect has been causing pandemonium.

Just as the video continues to evoke heated debates on social media and other local gatherings, the government on the other is dismissing speculations about wildlife smuggling.

The spokesperson assures that there have been no incidences of any foreigners taking away wild animals or any form of natural resources.

And according to Mr Gerson Msigwa, the issue of planes flying in and out of Game Reserves or National Parks is a normal thing.

Plus, as far as he is concerned, there is “no airstrip big enough to handle large aircrafts in the reserves!”

Msigwa (Inserted right) commenting against the video clip which claims an airplane was targeting wildlife in Loliondo (Left)

“There are foreign visitors and trackers who usually chose to fly onto their preferred tourism destinations in the country,” he maintains.

The government spokesperson added that, some tourists prefer to fly along with their entire expedition gears, some consisting of huge equipment and as far as he is concerned this is a common thing in the travel industry.

Airborne of contention

A few days ago, a giant Antonov Cargo Plane which had landed at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), also became a source of similar speculations.

Many people called for explanation regarding what exactly the huge aircraft was doing at the Northern terminal. Tanzania hasn’t been receiving cargo freights, albeit big ones at that.

The Kilimanjaro Airports Development Company (KADCO) later issued a written statement saying the aircraft was an ordinary freight plane doing its normal cargo delivering routine.

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