Tanzania conservation news – Enquiry into alleged illegal wildlife export ‘stuck in its tracks’

Conservationists keen to find out more about the allegations made last year, that a Qatari air force plane was flying wildlife out of Kilimanjaro International Airport under the eyes of the authorities, will need to wait longer it seems. The committee put into place to hold an enquiry into the matter has delayed, according to media reports in Tanzania and also according to regular sources from Arusha, their work so that it would not interfere with their long end of year holidays, a notion immediately dismissed by conservationists. After all the outcries back then, and having officials sidelined, transferred and suspended, these politicians did what now? The wanted to enjoy, since 24th November, a break from their work? Do they even know how Tanzanian wananchi struggle every day to make ends meet and they take a break? This is pathetic but also exposed what is wrong with our country. They make a lot of noise in parliament and then do little about it. Poaching and trafficking are ongoing. Illegal logging is ongoing. Government plans to encroach into game reserves and national parks under pretext of development is ongoing. After 50 years of mainland independence some still blame our former colonial masters but the truth is, we need a change. We need to get back to the principles of Nyerere or else need a new government which still remembers what he stood for. We needed to know about the godfathers of that flight, if there were more, and the longer it takes the more will the evidence be moved and destroyed, people transferred or told not to talk. This enquiry is in fact now a cover up of the highest order a regular source from Tanzania told this correspondent on the phone when responding to questions why it became only now known that the committee never started their work.
Other sources claim that there are fundamental issues unresolved over the mandate and terms of reference, with some attempting to add other controversies to the agenda, which led to the inordinate delay of now nearly 7 weeks. One designated member is reported to have dropped out already over conflict of interest claims, again opening that door to more allegations that not all is well within the establishment tasked to unearth who 116 animals, birds and reptiles could be taken to Kilimanjaro International Airport, loaded into a foreign air force plane and taken out of country, especially considering that giraffes were amongst the animals being off loaded from trucks and put on the plane. Watch this space as yet another saga evolves over wildlife in Tanzania and the official protection it is supposed to enjoy!