SHADOW Natural Resources and Tourism Minister Peter Msigwa asked the government to extensively probe all hunting companies in the country, saying some of the licensed firms were violating legislation and regulations governing wildlife conservation.
Mr Msigwa, who is also Iringa Urban MP (Chadema), said it was high time the government, through the ministry, went public on how much fine and charges it had collected from hunting companies that had infringed existing laws.
The opposition MP also challenged the minister responsible, Mr Lazaro Nyalandu, to take actions against officials in the ministry who he accused of failing to enforce the Wildlife Conservation Act of 2009 and the Wildlife Conservation (Tourist Hunting) Regulations of 2010.
In a news conference in Dar es Salaam, the MP showed a video clip to journalists (which we cannot independently verify), showing officials of Green Miles Safari breaching existing legislation and regulations on wildlife conservation in Selous Game Reserve.
"This company has continued to operate unabated within the game reserve despite my presentation of evidence to the government in regard to violations of laws, including wounding them and chasing them by vehicles," the vocal MP told journalists.
Mr Msigwa also accused the company of allowing its clients to shoot at female wildebeest and young buffalos, among others, while Section 56 of the legislation prohibits hunting or killing young and female animals.
And whereas Section 50 (1) of the law forbids the capture of wild animals without a valid permit, the Iringa Urban parliamentarian alleged that he has evidence to prove that the hunting firm has been capturing zebra foals, young warthogs and black bellied bustards.
"Clients of the company are also recorded using semi-automatic weapons, particularly shotguns, in addition to weapons fitted with suppressors, which are illegal with game reserves and national parks.
"It is also documented in the clip of how Green Miles Safari's clients are allowed to hunt in the game reserve without a professional hunter of wildlife offices contrary to Section 20 (2) of the regulations," Mr Msigwa claimed.
According to the MP, the hunting company has been among others, allowing underage clients to hunt birds in the Africa's largest wildlife sanctuary, in violation of Section 42 of the legislation which states that no person under the age of 18 would be allowed to hunt.
Efforts to contact Mr Nyalandu and the Acting Director of Wildlife Division, Mr Paul Sarakikya, were not successful yesterday as their mobile phones went unanswered.