The worst criticism came from Committee Chairman James Lembeli, who went to so far as to accuse Maige of creating a "corrupt environment" in the ministry. Among the issues Lembeli raised was how Category I and II hunting blocks were allocated to 16 companies that did not even apply for them, and how three particular companies were awarded allocations when they allegedly did not qualify for them. The three companies he named are Mwanauta & Co. Ltd, Kawawa Hunting Safaris Ltd. and Malagarasi Hunting Safaris Ltd. Malagarasi, I understand, has an outstanding balance of unpaid trophy fees to the government going back to 2008. (See page this month's Controversies.) Despite that, Malagarasi was awarded Inyonga GCS (E) and Selous GR L1 for the new concession period beginning in 2013. Kawawa Hunting Safaris had been given Mwatisi O.A. (S) and Ibanda Rumanyika GR. Mwanauta had been awarded Rungwa Mwamagembe GR.
Maige was among six (out of eight) ministers who got axed by Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, due to a deluge of criticism and accusations of corruption from parliamentary members. Maige was replaced by Khamis Kagasheki, who has promised to address the poaching problem in Tanzania, as well as unsustainable harvesting of natural resources and complaints raised regarding the allocation of hunting blocks.
What does all this mean for those companies contesting the allocations? Will Kagasheki rescind some of the allocations? Will he move forward with the site inspections........(continued)