DECISIONS STILL PENDING ON 156 HUNTING BLOCKS
Information was received from Dar es Salaam overnight that after the 12th March application deadline, awards for as many as 156 hunting blocks / concessions for the period 2013 to 2018 are still undecided.
The minister for natural resources and tourism conceded this point apparently in parliament on Tuesday, saying that his ministry’s officials will take the entire 60 day period stipulated in law to assess applications and decide on whom to award any concession. It was also learned that present legislation demands that each hunting company allocates at least 25 percent to ‘locals’ and it was here in particular that a regular source from Dar took issue with: ‘this is a recipe for corruption and deal making. The foreign owned hunting companies should tell the Tanzanian public how they find ‘partners’ or if they are not really bullied by politicians and well connected individuals who ‘help them’ to get concessions and in turn then get free shares to comply with the law. There are a lot of unanswered questions about this and the beneficiaries should be made public, let the names go to the media for everyone to know.’
Controversies over hunting in general and the revenues generated in particular in recent years brought the sector into disrepute of late, and pending allegations over malpractices by in particular Middle Eastern hunting block owners of shooting their blocks empty and then lay fires to drive game back into the hunting area, have never been disproven and are a festering sore on the reputation of hunting companies.