Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism
“Tanzania is one of Africa’s safest and enjoyable destinations”
Obviously Mr. Maige has not read the following:-
from the High Commissioner
22 November 2005
Mr Adadi Rajabu
Director of Criminal Investigation
PO Box 9093
Dar es Salaam
Mr and Mrs Stewart Middleton, Silverdale Farm
I should like to put on record a matter of great seriousness, involving UK citizens and investors in Tanzania.
Stewart and Sarah Middleton bought a farm – Silverdale – in Moshi from Mr Benjamin Mengi. They did so entirely legally and transparently. But for the last year, Mr B Mengi has been trying to regain the property. The Middleton's have documented a series of what they consider to be illegal efforts to repossess the property. These have included intimidation, and even death threats to them personally.
They have sought police assistance, but the evidence is that the local police do not seem impartial. A very serious incident took place on 21 November, when Mr Middleton was arrested on what appear to be entirely trumped-up grounds. He and a colleague were seized by local policemen, never formally charged or given an indication of the charges, and taken before a magistrate under armed guard. Even when they were before the magistrate, there was no charge sheet, nor did the magistrate make any effort to obtain one.
We support the rule of law in Tanzania. Unfortunately, this incident shows a flouting of that rule. I attach a lengthy statement from Mr and Mrs Middleton, which puts the legal case into perspective, and provides a detailed readout of the events surrounding Mr Middleton's arrest. Their conclusion is that the charging process by the police had been skipped altogether. Given all the circumstances, this could amount to a case of false arrest.
I also enclose a letter from Mr Middleton to the Regional Crime Officer of Hai District, dated 20 November. This is a complaint about police facilitation of Mr B Mengi’s entry into Silverdale Farm on 12 November. Mr Middleton has copied this letter to me and to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs.
You will no doubt be concerned, as I am, by what appears to be continuing intimidation of a bona fide investor in Tanzania. Part of this intimidation seems to be coming from the local police force. Mr Middleton is not a criminal. There is no evidence that he has broken Tanzanian law in any way. Yet he is arrested without charge and taken by armed guard before a magistrate. I would welcome the chance to discuss this case further with you. I would be particularly grateful for your help in ensuring that the Moshi police operate within the parameters of Tanzanian law. I am particularly mindful of the efforts of the Government of Tanzania to encourage legitimate investment, and concerned that a British National who is the source of such investment – and of local employment and exports – should be subjected to harassment that does not reflect Tanzania’s traditional hospitality.
I look forward very much to discussing this with you. Many thanks for your help. I am copying this letter and its enclosures to Capt. John Chiligati, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs.
Cc: Hon Capt. John Chiligati, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs
Maige: Tanzania safe destination
By Felister Peter
The government has intensified security for its people and visitors against incidents of kidnapping and that Tanzania was a safe destination, Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Ezekiel Maige said yesterday.
Opening the Natural Resources Sector Review conference attended by development partners to review the sector’s development plans, Maige said the security institutions in the country were working closely with the Ministry to keep Tanzania’s territorial waters as well as the hinterland secure.
“Tanzania is one of Africa’s safest and enjoyable destinations,” he assured tourists and other visitors, adding: “Tanzania is a land of peace and is determined to sustain that positive reputation.”
“We have intensified security measures to ensure that everybody is safe. We have noted a growing concern about the safety and security of visitors to the East Coast of Africa that are accompanied with several travel warnings pointing at East Africa, including Tanzania,” said the Minister.
He said the recent incidents of kidnapping tourists, which happened very far from the territorial borders of Tanzania in the North, should not worry tourists from visiting the country.
“I would like to assure our visitors, both those who are already in the country as well as prospective ones that Tanzania continues to be one of Africa’s safest and enjoyable destinations,” Maige said.
He said the incidents which happened far from the country’s territorial borders should not be cause for panic or cancellation of travel plans to Tanzania.
“We would therefore like to assure all our esteemed visitors that all necessary precautions have been taken to make sure they are safe,” he said.
The Minister called upon development partners to come up with strategic interventions to improve revenue collections in the sub-sectors of wildlife, forestry and fisheries which recorded poor revenue collection this year.
He said the Natural Resources Sector was rated unsatisfactory in the 2011 policy dialogue because some areas performed poorly.
He said the government will continue to improve infrastructure as well as create conducive environment for sustainable development of the sector.
“We are improving the working relationship with the natural resources stakeholders through encouraging Public Private Partnership,” said the Minister.
He applauded the development partners for supporting the sector, saying the government is committed to ensuring accountability.
“Development partners have been instrumental in conserving our natural resources for years…we hope the spirit will continue.”
Maige said the government is doing all it takes to ensure the available scarce resources are used for the benefit of all citizens. He said the government would like to be assisted in strengthening capacities to manage the natural resources, exploitation of opportunities available in beekeeping and how to benefit from the carbon credit scheme.
On Wednesday night this week, the Tanzania People's Defense Forces (TPDF) arrested seven suspected pirates who attacked an Oil prospecting ship, Sam-S-All Good, 40 kilometres Northeast of Mafia Island.
The attack was foiled after ships near the area; Monck and Froshiber which had TPDF forces responded to a distress call from the ship under attack.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN