KAGESHEKI GETS HANDOVER REPORT FROM SACKED PREDECESSOR
Disgraced former minister for natural resources and tourism Ezekiel Maige had to return one last time to the ministry he brought into disrepute, in the end costing him his job, when he had to attend the formal handover to his successor, widely respected Ambassador Khamis Kagesheki.
Maiges apparently feeble attempts to put on a brave face and applaud himself in his handover address was reportedly silenced when the new minister, as done earlier in the week, vowed to stamp out corruption, laxity and embezzlement, all apparently the norm under his hapless predecessor.
The new minister made it clear to his staff that he would not be following in the footsteps of Maige and be held to account to parliament for what he reportedly called thieving civil servants.
The minister was quoted verbatim to have said: This is a sensitive ministry which deals with foreigners and therefore there is an urgent need to cleanse its tarnished corporate image, leaving little doubt in the public mind that he too held his predecessor accountable for the sorry state of affairs at this crucial ministry. He went on to say that tourism earned more money than mining, agriculture or any other sector of the economy.
Ambassador Kageshekis new deputy minister, whose predecessor was also moved out of the natural resources and tourism ministry, Lazaro Nyalandu, echoed his ministers concerns and agenda, putting at last a new team with fresh vision and the taste for decisive action at the helm of Tanzanias tourism sector.
Said an Arusha based regular contributor in a mail just received: When we meet our new minister he will be most welcome. Maige let the sector down on so many levels and embarrassed us too often with his loose talk. Ambassador Kagesheki has used his first week in the ministry to spell out his priorities and the private sector will for sure play a role to give him all the information we have on some of the critical areas. There are many issues with TANAPA and we want to see TTB develop new ideas. Our reputation as Tanzania has been soiled in the past by wildlife trafficking and poaching. Maybe our country can now also drop the idea of going back to CITES to apply again for selling ivory. We should be in tune with our neighbours on conservation policies and action plans because united we stand a better chance to win the battle against the poachers. And we are really waiting for him to speak out on the Serengeti highway, the Lake Natron plans, mining in the Selous, the Stieglers Gorge project and the Tanga Marine National Park problem. The minister made a good start and we congratulate him on his announcements to clean his house but there are a lot of issues where we hope he will be on the side of conservation and not fail us like his predecessors did, clearly sentiments voiced in support of the new man at the helm but also spelling out for the new minister what complex and contentious issues await him during his tenure until the next elections. Watch this space to learn right here which way Tanzanias conservation and tourism will go in coming months.
Archive for May 12th, 2012
KAGESHEKI GETS HANDOVER REPORT FROM SACKED PREDECESSOR
Seychelles Heritage Foundation and Raffles join hands to promote Praslin / La Digue Heritage award scheme
SEYCHELLES HERITAGE FOUNDATION AND RAFFLES LAUNCH HERITAGE AWARDS
In a remarkable private / public sector cooperation have the Praslin and La Digue Heritage Awards been launched at the Raffles resort on Praslin island, when the Seychelles Heritage Foundation announced a new award scheme. In particular children can submit their projects and research into heritage sites, traditional dance, crafts, food and more and will then be up for annual awards, starting in 2013. SHFs CEO Patrick Nanty and the resorts General Manager Simon Hirst were both at hand to make the announcement. A year ago was the Praslin Heritage Trail launched, reported here of course at the time, and the acceptance of this concept by tourist visitors has clearly encouraged the heritage foundation to expand their scope, helped by generous support from Raffles. An exhibition set up by SHF was held alongside the event during which the announcement was made.
Visit www.seyheritage.sc for more information on the valuable work SHF undertakes to promote culture and heritage across the archipelago.
(Image courtesy of www.ugandaninsomniac.wordpress.com)
Local groups promoting the protection of Ugandas heritage and in particular of buildings associated with Ugandas history received a boost yesterday, when the Public Accounts Committee in parliament threw out plans to build a 60 storey Trade Centre in place of the historic building. The megalomaniac idea was first made public under the controversial former tourism and trade minister Kahinda Otafire, aka minister for crocodiles, immediately raising opposition amongst wide sections of Kampaleans. A court order had to be obtained though to stop government from interfering with the building and when Otafire was moved from the ministry and a standalone ministry of tourism formed after the elections in February 2011, the plans initially took a back seat.
Pleas by the present tourism minister Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu, that the plans would only modernize the museum were squarely rejected when the committee reportedly instructed the permanent secretary in the ministry of trade to formally communicate their decision to the Solicitor General to ensure that no further action should be taken by government to interfere with the museum and the site.
One former member of the PAC had some time ago made his personal opinion clear when saying: and the moment that deal became public knowledge we suspected there could be another corrupt project brewing. The way Otafire pushed for it raised suspicions and when the public and groups protested loudly, it was clear something was not right.
The campaign Save the Uganda Museum gathered fresh pace a few weeks ago when a new campaign was launched to protect Ugandas heritage, monuments and historically important buildings from further destruction under the pretense of development, a key word often used when riding roughshod over wetlands, forests, protected areas and historical buildings representing cultural values for the Ugandan society.
One of the promoters of the campaign, preferring anonymity, at the time said to this correspondent: We will be using our Golden Jubilee of Independence to campaign for the protection of our cultural heritage. It is not just the museum itself, some years ago we lost Lugards Fort when it was first destroyed and then after protests moved from the original location. Kampala lost a lot of important buildings over the past 20 years. Traditional architecture of pre and post independence Uganda were razed to make way for high rise office buildings which look ugly and lack creative features. At least some of the old buildings must be preserved for posterity sake and to show future generations what Kampala looked like, what some of our up country towns looked like in the past. We need stronger protection for our heritage and we will promote this agenda on the back of the 50th anniversary of our independence.
Well, the PAC has just thrown their support behind the campaign to save the Uganda Museum and this may be the time to build a broader alliance in support of not just the protection of cultural and architectural marvels but also the increased protection for our wetlands, forests, lakes, rivers and protected areas. Watch this space.