Thursday, April 5, 2018

Tourism Minister addresses illegal poaching in Tanzania

The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr Hamisi Kigwangalla said yesterday that his office would fight against poachers, smuggling of forestry products and take stern measures against civil servants abetting such illegal trades. Speaking at the 25th workers meeting planned to draw new ideas and deliberate issues facing the ministry, the minister said reports show that some dishonest staff were collaborating with criminals to commit the unwarranted acts. It ranges from smuggling of logs to poaching … we’ve information that some of the officials in the ministry are helping criminals to commit these offence,” the minister said, adding  we’ll clean up the mess and deal with all those working abetting crimes for personal gain.” 

The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr Hamisi Kigwangalla responding questions from journalists.

The minister says such criminal acts were causing huge losses in government revenues, but fell short of giving exact figures of the monies lost. He argued, however, that only commitment to observing rules and procedures by officials in the ministry would help end poaching, smuggling and wildlife trafficking, hence help contribute to increased tourists arrivals and revenue collection. Tanzania recorded some 1.2million arrivals in 2016, which earned the country some $2.1bn – which increased to 1.3 billion arrivals and earnings of $2.3bn by last month. The minister reminded ministry officials of the need to increase revenue collection. “It is through these revenues that we can improve services across the country.” Permanent Secretary Maj Gen. Gaudence Malinzi meanwhile said the ministry would set up a special trained army to beef-up the fight against poaching, smuggling and trafficking. He said that effective next September, the ministry would be holding a national heritage and tourism festival to promote the country’s culture and tourism sector.

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