KAWE legislator, Ms Halima Mdee, has asked the commission formed to probe hunting firms that have sub-leased blocks to uranium exploring companies in Namtumbo District, Ruvuma Region, to nullify the contracts and ensure villagers benefit from the deals.
Ms Mdee told the 'Daily News' that the contract was signed between the Game Frontiers Limited and uranium exploring companies in Mbarang'andu village in Namtumbo District which is in the Selous Game Reserve.
"I understand that the village received only USD 10,000 out of USD 6m which the hunting firm agreed with the uranium company, this is not fair," she said. She said that the committee formed by the Ministry of Energy and Minerals would investigate and take actions to see that the villagers get their deserved money.
"Let us wait for the recommendations from the commission, but our main concern is to see that those villagers benefit from the contract which was signed contrary to the law," she said. Explaining further she said the contract signed between the companies was violating the law.
The hunting company has allegedly entered into a contract with Uranium Resources PLC and Western Metals Limited, for uranium exploration at Mbarang'andu Village in Namtumbo District, Ruvuma Region. "I have gone through the Wildlife Conservation Act of 1974 and The Wildlife Conservation Act Number 5 of 2009. These acts allow a person with a hunting permit to only carry hunting activities and not otherwiseÉ", she further explained.
Tabling alternative budget estimates in Parliament recently, Ms Mdee who is also the Shadow Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, alleged that Game Frontiers Tanzania Limited, had sub-leased Mbarang'andu village in Namtumbo benefiting some USD6m payable in two phases.
She added that in accordance to the land laws of 1999 should a piece of land allocated for other purposes and then later be found to contain minerals then ownership returns to the government or the individual. Speaking to this paper, some mineral experts urged the government to save the foreign currency lost in dubious contracts particularly in hunting industry.
A mineral expert, Mr Salum Mwamba, said there were some dishonest hunting companies which have been doing their business contrary to the law. Mr Mwamba said the government should investigate the matter to see its legality and take stern measures against the culprit.
Mr George Kelvin, a stakeholder, challenged hunting firms to increase the support given to the communities living around game reserve since the current support is insignificant.