No rights infringed in Msomera relocation – PM

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa on Friday maintained that no rights had been violated in the ongoing voluntary relocation to Msomera Village in Handeni District.

The Premier, who was speaking shortly before seeing off 115 Ngorongoro residents, insisted that the ongoing relocation had taken into account all human rights aspects.

“The government demonstrated its good intention since the beginning of the exercise and I want to assure you today that everything is going according to plan, and no one has been affected in any way whatsoever,” the PM reassured.

Mr Majaliwa used the opportunity to dress down organisations, groups and other individuals who continue painting bad picture on the voluntary exercise, insisting that Tanzania was a sovereign state governed by its own laws and policies.

The Premier equally appealed to those willing to relocate to Msomera Village in Handeni District to ignore widespread rumours, unfounded and baseless reports on the ongoing exercise.

“It is very unfortunate that there are some people who, for reasons best known to themselves, continue peddling false reports, alleging that the government was forcefully evicting the residents from Ngorongoro,” observed the PM.

The Prime Minister was categorical that any organisation that was conscious about conservation and people’s livelihoods, ought to out rightly support the government in the quest of relocating residents to Handeni.

In the same vein, Mr Majaliwa said the government was willing to meet Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) staff who had constructed permanent settlements inside the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) to iron out some of the pending issues.

He said: We are willing to meet you and our discussions will without any doubt, yield fruitful results.

At least 536 residents and 2,051 livestock have voluntarily moved to Msomera village in Handeni since the exercise began in June 16, 2022.

Another 5,382 residents had already registered for the exercise, as the NCAA mulls over plans of constructing 400 more houses at the earmarked 400,000 acres of land for relocated Maasai households.

Veteran politician Saning’o Kaika Ole Telele, who was among the 115 residents who boarded the bus for Msomera yesterday, urged Ngorongoro residents to make the most of the opportunity, describing their new residence as a wonderful place to live.

Mr Ole Telele, who also once served as Ngorongoro MP, recounted how difficult it was for some of them to voluntarily agree to move to Handeni when they were approached by the government.

“It wasn’t easy to get to this point, some of us had to send our children to Msomera just to get a clear picture of how the place looks like,” recalled the former Deputy Minister for Livestock and Fisheries.

Mr Ole Telele insisted that no one was being coerced into the decision, urging fellow residents not to think twice as such a chance presents itself.

Sharing similar sentiments, Hulda Gideon Laizer, a resident of Nainokanoka, a small Maasai village located at the eastern base of Olmoti crater of Ngorongoro conservation area, said they were grateful to the government for building them new homes and grazing land for their livestock.

Ms Laizer was upbeat that the relocating villagers will get used to their new surroundings as they wish to see conservation activities getting sustained at NCA.

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