Dar es Salaam — Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Constantine Kanyasu has directed wildlife officials to increase transparency in auctioning of livestock confiscated inside reserve areas.
Mr Kanyasu said transparency will dispel allegations that livestock auctioning inside the reserve areas is intended to favour conservationists.
The minister also said the auctions should be advertised to attract as many bidders as possible. District Commissioners should also be informed prior to the auctions.
He issued the directives on Saturday at Kisondoko Village when speaking to leaders of 15 villages whose livestock were seized when grazing in Mkungunero Reserve in Kondoa District, Dodoma Region.
Mr Kanyasu said transparency should be upheld during auctioning to allow fully participation of the citizens.
"Previously, the citizens were required to look for permits to access reserve areas in order to participate in auctions otherwise they were penalised. This should come to an end now," he said.
He added: "Conservationists are also accused of bringing potential buyers from other regions on agreement to be rewarded after auctioning."
People have been blaming conservationists for hiding auction information, but established businessmen were being informed, something which has caused hatred between small businessmen and staff of the reserves and parks.
In another development, Mr Kanyasu warned guard wardens with the habit of driving livestock grazing at border of villages and reserve areas in order to be confiscated and later get auctioned. Ikengwe Village chairman Ismail Hamis told the deputy minister that herders were pleading with the government to review laws and regulations that allow seizure and auctioning of livestock because the move leaves them in abject poverty.
"We suggest citizens whose livestock will be found inside reserve areas to be fined because without livestock we are nothing," he said.
Speaking during the meeting, deputy commissioner of the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (Tawa) Mabula Misungwi assured the deputy minister of full enforcement of the government's directives.
He called on conservationists to shun corrupt practices during the process, noting that anybody implicated will be punished accordingly.