Tanzania Controversial Hunting Fees Up For Discussion

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    Tanzania Controversial Hunting Fees Up For Discussion
    by Samuel Kamndaya

    Dodoma - The contentious issue of hunting blocks fees, is due for discussion once again in Parliament this week, when Natural Resources and Tourism minister, Ms Shamsa Mwangunga, tables her ministry's budget on Friday.

    A timetable released by the Clerk of the National Assembly at the weekend, indicates that Ms Mwangunga will on Friday be required to table a detailed statement on fees for hunting trophies prior to presentation of her ministry's budget proposals.

    This sounds like a deliberate move to appease MPs' not to attack the ministry over hunting blocks fees.

    Ms Mwangunga acting under the advice of her ministry's experts, lowered the hunting fees during 2007/08, a decision that brought the ministry's revenue down by 38 per cent of the expected Sh48.697 billion.

    The decision also brought stiff criticism in Parliament last year, with MPs accusing the ministry of lowering the fees without following proper procedures.

    Ms Mwangunga came to the ministry at a time when her predecessor, Prof Jumanne Maghembe, had reviewed upwards license fees for lucrative hunting blocks, from a mere $10,000 to $50,000.

    But in the immediate aftermath of the government's announcement, hunting block owners came up in arms against the new fee structure, describing the 500 per cent increase as outrageous, forcing Ms Mwangunga to revise them downwards.

    Meanwhile, the bomb blasts at Mbagala army ammunition camp in Dar es Salaam that claimed about 30 lives, destroying about 800 houses and rendering over 4,000 homeless, is also expected to rank highly in this week's Parliamentary debates.

    The Defense and National Service Minister, Dr Hussein Mwinyi, tables his ministry's budget estimates today.

    The Home Affairs minister, Mr Lawrence Masha, is also expected to face veiled attacks from MPs due to clashes over cattle theft between the Kurya and Luo ethnic groups in Tarime District. The clashes have claimed at least 40 lives during the past few days.

    MPs are also expected to grill Mr Masha when he tables his ministry's budget on Wednesday, over the implementation of National Identity cards.

    Otherwise, little discussion is expected on Thursday when Parliament will debate budget estimates of the Community Development, Gender and Children ministry.

    The house resumes today against a backdrop of historic happenings that saw the budget estimates for the Infrastructure Development ministry fail to sail through on Thursday, and was only passed on Saturday after a thorough analysis of a private motion by Ilemela MP, Mr Anthony Diallo.

    Source: The Citizen
     

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