COURT BLOCKS TANAPA FROM IMPLEMENTING NEW FEE COLLECTION
Following the reported collapse of a mediation efforts initiated by the complainants HAT, TCT and TATO allegedly caused by TANAPA negotiators not moving an inch from their hardline position, did a court in Tanzania bar TANAPA from implementing their planned collection at park gates of concession fees, which according to current agreements are to be paid from hotel, resort, lodge and camp operators directly to TANAPA, until the principal case has been heard. These fees are built into our rates, our tariffs and we have been submitting the required dues to TANAPA in the past and continue to do so irrespective what their propaganda is saying. What we rejected was the unilateral rise in such fees they tried to impose on us. It also exposes TANAPA as an organization of blackmailers and extorters who have done Tanzania tourism a lot of damage. When they stopped safari cars last year from entering the parks unless tourists or drivers were paying in cash the charges already paid for through the accommodation tariffs, it caused a global storm. I dont think they even understand the meaning of a PR nightmare. Pictures, tweets, comments on Facebook raced around the world sent by clients held hostage at park gates, lacking food, drink and amenities. It gave Tanzania a bad name, gave our tourism industry a big problem in a year we were to celebrate 50 years of first gaining independence from Britain and made TANAPA look like a bunch of highway robbers. Those responsible should be held to account for wrongful imprisonment of drivers and tourists at park gates and they showed they have no regard for either contracts or human rights. You should have heard the comments from tourists when they finally reached our camp said a regular source from Arusha before adding we are confident we will win the principal case because TANAPA has broken the law.
In a related development have stakeholders at the coast also rejected TANAPAs attempts to expand the Tanga Marine Park inland accusing the organization of land grabbing, raising more questions over the sanity of TANAPA seniors actually scheming up such projects and then behaving like dictators. From the feedback my drivers gave me last year when they were stuck at the park gates, that stand off could well have resulted in much worse. What if one of those TANAPA lunatics would have ordered their gate staff to use force or hold tourists at gun point? This organization has gone out of control and all the good work done in the past is unraveling when failed leaders are able to trample on the general laws of the country another source mentioned. TANAPA needs a new leadership, a new philosophy on top, a sense of partnership that we are all in this together and the private sector is not their paymaster general and windowdress of public private partnership. We shall go and tell their donors the whole story to show people around the world when they deal with TANAPA their smiles are two faced and what they are really made of clearly expressing a growing anger. Watch this space.
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AVIATION UNION ACCUSED OF COMPROMISING SAFETY AND SECURITY OVER PAY DEMANDS
A periodic source, wishing to remain anonymous, has made allegations against the Kenya Aviation and Allied Workers Union, suggesting the union was deliberately targeting areas of aviation safety and security in an ongoing pay dispute with the Kenya Airports Authority. Several flights, according to sources at JKIA, were diverted to other airports before relief for striking fire department workers could be brought in on the double.
KAA was compelled at the start of the busy Easter weekend to draft in additional police units and volunteers for screening of passengers in Nairobi while in Mombasa the municipal fire brigade was deployed at the Moi International Airport to ensure the mandatory presence of fire fighters manning the emergency stations. Also in Mombasa were attempts reported to vandalize if not outright breach the airport perimeter and while no immediate links could be established between the Union and this criminal if not well near terrorist attempt, investigations are focusing on the masterminds behind these efforts, who may have commissioned the crime or encouraged, aided and abetted it, but with a clear focus it is understood on links with militant union agitators. Subsequently were additional administration police units deployed at MIAM to secure the perimeter and repel any further attempts to further vandalize or breach the fences and walls. The union has been demanding a pay rise of 30 percent and according to another regular source in Nairobi was unwilling to even consider returning to the negotiating table unless a 25 percent pay rise was pre-agreed by KAA.
It is understood that legal maneuvers are underway to have the strike declared illegal, not however that past experience with this particular union would suggest their bosses would respect this, after last years cases, where the Industrial Court had declared strike action by the same union against Kenya Airways illegal only saw AAWU breach court relevant directives. The same appears to be the case now again, as sources close to KAA claim they had obtained an injunction from the Industrial court on April 04, prohibiting any strike action.
Said the Nairobi based source: This union is notorious for strike threats left right and centre. Their bosses need to maintain a lifestyle so they are constantly harassing employers in the aviation industry over wages, terms and conditions of service. They do not understand the economics of aviation, what they understand is to score cheap points with their members and feed their own ambitions, plain and simple. You wait, when the KQ share issue is completed they will be quick to threaten a strike again and then claim the airline is swimming in money which has to be shared with them and their members. Some of our unions in Kenya are straight from the communist text book and the aviation union is amongst the most notorious. Other sources spoke of anonymous threats being made to airline employees at the airport that their flights in and out of Nairobi were not safe. This according to another regular source from JKIA was very ominous. When you tell someone in an airline a flight is not safe, it can have many reasons. But truly, this is just a step away from a bomb warning and the union agitators are responsible for such transgressions, the use of such language and the intimidation which goes along with it. They are ready to use terrorizing methods to get their pay deal and that should become a matter of a police investigation.
Very harsh words indeed, sure to trigger some controversy yet, by the looks of past union action and activities, not entirely out of the blue. Known sources at KAA refused to comment, citing the sensitivity of the matter and trying not to compromise ongoing back stage talks aimed to have staff return to duty while resolving the standoff through talks. Easter eggs with some nasty surprises inside it would seem. Watch this space.
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