By Peter Nyanje
The Citizen Reporter
Tuesday, 30 April 2013 22:22
Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Secretary General Abulrahman Kinana
Mapinduzi (CCM) Secretary General Abulrahman Kinana and other party
leaders found themselves on the spot in Parliament yesterday over
allegedly suspect deals in natural resources and the tourism sector.
Kinana (pictured) was cited in connection with a consignment of
elephant tusks impounded in 2009 in Vietnam. The allegations came in a
strongly-worded speech by the shadow minister for Natural Resources and
Tourism, Mr Peter Msigwa (Iringa Urban-Chadema).
But Minister for
Home Affairs Emmanuel Nchimbi swiftly came to the defence of Mr Kinana,
telling the House that investigations had proved that he had nothing to
do with the consignment. According to Dr Nchimbi, several people were
arrested and charged in the case of a four-tonne consignment that
originated in Kenya and Tanzania, but Mr Kinana was not one of them.
case has since been withdrawn after the prosecution failed to secure
important information from Vietnam. The Far East country has refused to
co-operate because it does not have an exchange arrangement on such
matters with Tanzania.
Mr Msigwa had earlier said records from the
Business Registration and Licensing Agency (Brela) indicated that the
consignment was exported by Sharaf Shipping, a company owned by Mr
Kinana and his wife Rahma Hussein. “The official opposition in
Parliament believes that illicit political and economic interests of a
few individuals in the hunting sector is dominant in CCM and its
government and it involves top ranking leaders in the party,” Mr Msigwa
The company is also said to have employed a foreigner whose
residence documents have expired. Mr Msigwa added: “The certificate to
transport the cargo was signed by Mr Samir Hemani on November 13, 2008.
Mr Hemani was then the finance and administration manager but records
from the Immigration Department show that his residence permit had
expired when he was signing the documents.”
The permit reportedly expired on May 7, 2008.
Msigwa requested the government to provide a detailed explanation on
the involvement of Mr Kinana in the illegal export of the elephant
tusks. But Dr Nchimbi objected, noting that the opposition was aware of
the developments in the case. “I am amazed at what the opposition
spokesperson has said here because I am aware that they know each and
everything involving this case,” the minister said. “I think Chadema is
Mr Msigwa also accused CCM and its government of
embracing businessmen with records that were not clean. He named Mr
Mohsin Abdallah, who was recently cited as a major dealer in the illegal
ivory trade by the Environmental Investigations Agency during a
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora
and Fauna (CITES) meeting in Bangkok in Thailand. “Mr Abdallah is a
former member of the CCM National Executive Committee,” he said.” This
tarnishes the image of Tanzanians before the international community.”
Msigwa also hit out at the government for allegedly failing to resolve
the land crisis in Loliondo in Ngorongoro District for more than 23
years. He accused the government of subjecting Maasai pastoralists in
the division to “untold suffering” for lack of recognition as legal
residents. He also accused the government of siding with Ortelo Business
Company, which has been granted a professional hunting licence to
operate in the area.
Tabling his budget earlier, the minister for
Natural Resources and Tourism, Ambassador Khamis Kagasheki, told
Parliament that plans to establish a Wildlife Authority were in top
gear. The authority is expected to boost efforts to safeguard natural
resources, mainly wildlife.
In the meantime, the ministry has been
engaging stakeholders in a bid to amend the Wildlife Act No 5 of 2009
with the intention of charting out supervision and control
responsibilities. The draft amendments are ready and consultations with
stakeholders are set to begin. If all goes well, the Bill should be
tabled in Parliament in November.
The government is, meanwhile,
still following up the illegal export of live animals to Qatar on
November 26, 2010. Six people have already been arrested and charged
over the saga.
But despite his ministry’s achievements, Ambassador
Kagasheki said, there were still challenges to be tackled, including
shortage of funds, equipment and manpower and low awareness among
Tanzanians of the importance of tourism.
Nevertheless, the ministry
has come up with strategic planning for the period 2013-2016, which will
see employment of enough personnel and improvement of stakeholder
The ministry intends to improve patrols in national parks and game reserves in 2013/14 to safeguard the tourism sector.