Tanzanian leader blasts lawmakers for condoning encroachment on protected game reserves

DAR ES SALAAM, July 9  — Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Tuesday blasted some members of Parliament (MPs) for allowing people to encroach on protected game reserves for fear of losing votes during elections.

“People living close to protected game reserves encroached the reserves and MPs remained silent for fear of losing votes during elections,” Magufuli said inaugurating the newly upgraded Burigi-Chato National Park in the northwest region of Geita.

“We should not compromise our protected areas for political gains,” he said in remarks broadcast live on state-owned Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation.

He warned that if people are allowed to encroach on areas earmarked for wildlife conservation, all efforts to protect wildlife will be ineffective.

Magufuli also lashed out at local leaders who take bribes from livestock keepers to allow them to graze their animals in protected areas. – XINHUA