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Maasai Councillors Reject Land Use Plan
JAMII Forum, May 26 2023 (Google Translation):
The Council of Councilors, Ngorongoro District Council, Arusha Region, have rejected the draft of the land use plan of the district, claiming that it is not cooperative and aims to break up their grazing land and put it in the reserve, an act that will affect the well-being of the people.
The councilors made the statement in the councilors' council after the presentation of agenda number four in the session aimed at discussing and adopting a 20-year land use plan from this year 2023 to 2043.
Nainokanoka ward councilor, Edward Maula said they do not agree with the draft as it aims to take a large part of their land and make it part of the conservation area, something that will affect the well-being of their lives and livestock feed.
He explained that the government had previously taken 75 percent of their land and made it a wildlife sanctuary and forests and the people were left with only 25 percent.
"We as councilors have put our signatures together to reject the draft and the reasons for rejecting it include the government taking our large area and only 25 percent remaining" he said
He added that the Ngorongoro district's land use plan did not comply with the requirements of the law to involve legitimate village meetings, therefore adopting the plan is to justify the end of living by continuing to be homeless, agricultural and grazing lands.
And the councilor of special seats in Kakesio ward, Ngorongoro division, Sein Lekeni said the reason for rejecting the draft is the lack of participation of the people and education on the importance of the matter and if we accept it we will be very strange people.
"Today we were at the council meeting, we rejected the draft that was brought to the council because it is not collaborative, it is a draft that has been prepared by some people, and if we pass it we will be very wonderful councilors, all of us 32 councilors have rejected it by putting our signatures"
Another councilor, James Moringe of Laitore ward, said the 20-year land use agenda in Ngorongoro district is not productive and they have rejected it because it has isolated the district geographically.
He said that such a procedure was once used by the government to measure their grazing area of 1500 square kilometers and made it an illegal forest, an issue they emphasized that they do not agree with the draft.
"No public meetings were used to discuss the issue starting from the Ngorongoro division where the Maasai settlements are located"
"We Councilors of Ngorongoro district who have put our signatures, this plan has never been a priority of our council but it has been brought by the organizations of NCAA, FZS and KFW to legalize land grabbing"
On his part, the Chairman of the Council of Councillors, said that the draft could not be passed because it was written in English and the councilors of the pastoral community, most of them do not know English, so I ordered it to be revised.
"This draft was not rejected, but the draft was written in English and many of the councilors do not know the English language, that's why I ordered it to be amended so that it can be returned to the council"
However, the chairman said that he agrees with the rhyme but said that it must be amended because no government hates its citizens and he believes that the government's plan is good.