Bribes: Minister axes three TAWA officers

12Jan 2021
The Guardian
Bribes: Minister axes three TAWA officers

NATURAL Resources and Tourism minister Dr Damas Ndumbaro has dismissed three officials of the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA), including a conservator and two wardens for suspicions of indulging in bribes, economic sabotage, money laundering and acts of destruction in-

-Kilombero Game Controlled Area.

The minister reached the decision here yesterday when speaking to managers and workers of TAWA and TANAPA after visiting the Kilombero Water Basin and witnessed destruction wrought therein that threatens the key water source.

He directed for their immediate dismissal and handing over to government apparatus for further action.

He said the government of President John Magufuli cannot tolerate acts that retard the country’s development like wanton invasion of reserved area. If condoned, such invasion will lead to the water in the Julius Nyerere Hydropower project (JNHPP) to dry up as it entirely depends on the key water source, he declared.

The various illegal activities including wanton poaching have begun diminishing the population of hippos, elephants and others in the reserve since the poachers have the collaboration of TAWA officials, he stated.

He also admonished other TAWA officials engaged in illegal acts, directing them to stop forthwith as at present the government was watchful and has pledged to deal with them without delay.

The minister also promoted Conservation Officer Gr II Laurent Juma Okode to become Conservation Officer Gr I citing faithfulness when executing his duties as manager of the Kilombero Forest Reserve.   

He appealed to top regional and district officials countrywide to ensure they protect forest reserves and water basins to prevent destructive encroachments, as this would affect tourism activities, on which the government depends for 17.5 per cent of revenue each year.

Later in August this year the government plans to conduct fresh demarcations for the Kilombero River Basin to solve existing conflicts pitting people invading the reserve and forest reserve authorities, he affirmed.

“The recognized boundaries in the basin are those set out in 1952 when the forest reserve was gazetted, with reviews made in 1997,” he said, elaborating that the ministry treats as irrelevant any supposed change of boundaries. “Whoever thinks otherwise should come forward with solid proof,” he told the audience.

He said 41 villages have been recognized for having appropriate agreements endorsed at various sittings including those of the district council, “while one village had no proof of recognition that it was at all registered.”

He reminded local authorities that since the government was coming up with fresh demarcations, people should stop all farming activities stretching to that period until the new boundaries are in place.

Assistant TAWA Conservation Commissioner Mabula Misungwi named those stripped of their ranks and dismissed as Conservation Officer Gr II Elisante Oktavia Akon, and the two disgraced wardens as Vicent Mkuki and Joshua Magesa. Read More...

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