Clan elders and community representatives are due to meet the Tanzanian Prime Minister, although for many observers, it is clear that decisions of such magnitude clearly have been made elsewhere and can only be halted by those who made them.
“There is going to be hell to pay if they try to evict these people just so that someone somewhere can pocket [money]. The sheiks from Dubai should go and shoot sea gulls but not come here to hunt our game, which is already decimated by unchecked poaching, and have our people thrown off their land. How did you say, choices have consequences, and if the government sticks to that choice they made, they should not be surprised about the consequences. First their underhand[ed] methods to drive people off their land for that lunatic port idea in Mwambani and now this? They have gone stark bonkers,” ranted a regular source from Arusha when narrating the story about a quit notice given to people living in the Londiani area outside the Serengeti, which is allegedly to be turned into a hunting area for Dubai’s ruling family.
“Seeing the PM tomorrow (Tuesday) is not the answer nor will it likely produce a solution. If individuals have been compromised to put the eviction back on the table, for reasons best known to themselves, and we all know what that of course means, they will not be able to find a way out. If they have already eaten, they cannot bring it back, they have to deliver. Widespread protests, international attention, and petitions similar to the Serengeti Highway – that is the solution. The international media has to put pressure on the guys in Dubai, too, because the last thing they want there is to see their own name dragged into the global arena over bad news. The media in our country are gagged, and the closer we come to the elections, the worse it will become. No, the local media will not make too much noise, but the opposition will pick another fight in parliament over this to show the people how corrupt the system has become,” said another regular reader from Tanzania.
One community activist, a Samuel Nangiria, is quoted in international media reports to have expressed fear for his own life and safety for standing up for his brethren’s land rights, while also claiming that security forces had over the past two years killed other activists. Last year an apparent short-lived success was recorded when petition site AVAAZ.org had solicited over 1.5 million signatures while engaging in a widespread Twitter and other social media campaign, something government officials have come to loath and fear as it cannot be controlled by them, and to make it worse, mouthpieces with a clear lack of intuition then made comments which only fueled the fire.