By Gadiosa Lamtey
Finishing touches are being put to a draft that will enable changing the Wildlife Division into the Tanzania Wildlife Authority.
Newly appointed minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Lazaro Nyalandu, said this is part of concerted efforts to put a stop to wildlife poaching in the country.
Nyalandu was speaking at his first news conference after being sworn in by President Jakaya Kikwete following the Sunday Cabinet reshuffle by President Jakaya Kikwete.
Nyalandu, who was the deputy minister in the ministry, has taken over from Khamis Kagasheki. The latter resigned late last month along with three other ministers on allegations of mishandling the anti poaching Operation ‘Tokomeza’.
Other ministers were those of Defence and National Service (Shamsi Vuai Nahodha), Home Affairs (Dr Emmanuel Nchimbi) and Livestock and Fisheries (Dr Matayo David Matayo).
Nyalandu said the draft will soon be submitted to the Parliament for endorsement before becoming an Act.
He said establishment of the authority will, among other things, increase the number of employees. Ultimately this will reinforce the fight against elephant poaching which has claimed the lives of many animals, he said.
Apart from this, he explained, it is also expected that the authority will increase revenue for the government.
Nyalandu said poaching is a war that everyone should participate in if the malpractice is to stop.
However, he said cooperation among the staff working under the wildlife department is required if the anti-poaching war is to be successful.
Nyalandu called upon heads of department to make their juniors feel proud of working in the ministry. He said those in high positions should inspire the juniors instead of demoralising them, appealing:
“Let us cooperate for the interest of the nation. I learnt a lot from you when I served as deputy minister. You are good people and I ask you to continue being so and cooperate with each other,” he said.
In the press conference also attended by his deputy, Mahmoud Mgimwa, the minister called upon the staff to be creative and find new techniques of fighting against poaching.
He challenged the department heads to give room to young university graduates for internship in the ministry so that they can gain experience instead of rejecting them.
“A number of graduates have a desire to work in this ministry. So, I ask you heads of departments to support them; be exemplary to such youths,” he told them.
Meanwhile, deputy minister, Mahmoud Mgimwa, said during his tenure he won’t favour any member of staff.
If there is a problem, they have to follow procedures to solve it. He said he was appointed to work in the ministry and nothing else.
Mgimwa said when President Kikwete appointed him as a deputy minister, a number of people cautioned him saying there are many challenges in the ministry.
However, he said he is brave enough to work in the ministry. Mgimwa noted that he will not tolerate any unbecoming behaviour, including gossips.
He called for cooperation from members of staff in ensuring that the ministry’s obligations are fulfilled.