By Beldina Nyakeke
The government suspended the anti-poaching operation following reports of rampart rights abuses, including killing of livestock and torching of houses.
About 200 head of livestock were killed at Mangucha and Kegonga villages in Tarime District during an anti-poaching operation carried out countrywide in October, this year. Speaking this week at a workshop organised by Mara Pegional Press Club (Mrpc) in collaboration with Tanzania National Parks (Tanapa), Kegonga Village chairman Chacha Tugara said the operation was carried out on October 25, this year.
The villages are among five which surround the Serengeti National Park in Tarime district. He said that during the operation, dubbed ‘Operation Tokomeza,’ 78 cattle and 112 goats were killed by the team.
The government suspended the anti-poaching operation following reports of rampart rights abuses, including killing of livestock and torching of houses. Mr Tugara added also that 19 sheep were killed as well as six donkeys, adding that they were shocked by the decision made by the operation team of killing their livestock on which they depend.
He explained that there was no need to kill innocent animals, adding that due to such rights abuses residents of the villages were disappointed and that some of them were left without any property.
Mr Tugara said a majority of the villagers were livestock keepers who depended on livestock for their livelihoods, including paying school fees for their children. He said the decision by the team to kill their livestock has shaken their economic status. For his part, Senapa chief warden William Mwakitema said the operation was not conducted by Tanapa as the villagers living around Serengeti were made to believe.