Saturday, December 7, 2013
The government to compensate victims affected by ‘Tokomeza’ operation
THE Government has promised to compensate people who in one way or another were affected during national campaign of Tokomeza which the government halted its operations in late October this year. It has been learnt. The operation which was mounted by the government aimed to stop and also to arrest people suspected to involve in continued acts of wild animal poaching as well as wanton felling of natural vegetations which is growing at an alarming rate in various parts in the country, The deputy Minister for Tourism and Natural Resources, Lazaro Nyalandu said in Parliament on Tuesday this week that, the government would compensate people’s properties which got lost or damaged unknowingly during the operation. He said, a parliamentary probe committee led by Professor Peter Msola, former cabinet Minister has been formed to investigate the matter from various areas whereby the Tokomeza operation was wrongly conducted resulting into some losses of properties owned by certain individuals especially in rural areas. He said the decision by the government comes following various claims by people from some parts in the country where the operation went through and due to some mishandling of certain factors, some innocent people were involved and had some of their properties lost or damaged unknowingly. Nyalandu revealed this after having responded to a question earlier asked by Nkasi South MP, John Mpata (CCM) to the minister for Tourism and Natural resources during questions and answer session. The Nkasi South MP had wanted to know what plans the government has to increase the number of wildlife rangers and conservators in the Lwafi Game Reserve located in Katavi Region.
The deputy minister admitted that the government was fully aware of the shortage of staff in the country’s game reserves and in particular Lwafi game reserve. Meanwhile a Parliamentary probe team has interrogated two ministers in relation to the alleged human rights violation during the implementation of a recently halted countrywide anti- poaching operation. According to the available information, a probe committee started its investigation on November 25 in Dar es Salaam by questioning different people including the two ministers and other senior government officials and it will go through to the most affected regions in the country. “It is true that the probe team interrogated two ministers as the operation was under their respective ministries and is set to interview another minister before moving to the affected regions where according to its schedule the probe team was to start the visit yesterday,” a source who preferred anonymity was quoted by the media as saying on Thursday this week. The source said the committee is required to complete its work and submit the report to Parliament between December 17 and 18 this year, during the 14th ongoing session which started early this week in Dodoma. Meanwhile, a legislator for Mwibara Alphaxard Kangi Lugola (CCM) has blamed the chairman of the Parliamentary probe committee Professor Peter Msola for having called him a person who utters bad words propelled against the operation which he currently investigates in various parts in the country. Lugola told a press conference on Thursday evening at media lab here in Dodoma that, Prof. Msola was reported by the media early this week that, he had associated him to have interfered by his sensitive work while contributing a debate in Parliament on how the operation was conducted badly in some parts in the country. However, he refuted such claims and noted that, what had transpired over the matter was his contribution that targeted how the operation was conducted wrongly and that it caused huge loss of people’s properties while some had their houses torched while others were fined without mistakes. “My contribution in parliament during the debate was normal and that Prof. Msolla should not have taken it to have been interfered with his investigations” he said and noted that, he was shocked to have been regarded as a utterer of the matter of which he is less concerned.