Sunday, September 14, 2008

Trent Keegan's Report

Below is a report being compiled by Trent Keegan into the allegations against Thomson Safaris before his death in Nairobi in May last.
This report was hurriedly put together on 15th May when police interviewed him about his activities in the area. Trent immediately made a back-up copy for safe-keeping, which I’ve copied here, entirely unedited (so please excuse misspellings and typing errors).
It gives a good outline of what is alleged against Thomson’s and also contains Trent’s findings about the alleged active collusion between Thomson’s and the Tanzanian police force:

080510_14a Conflict for the Maasai:

Hi guys there is rumour that the police are coming and so I’m sending this out to you asap.
I’ll send pics of people victims involved as quick as possible to Radu at the pic desk.

If you need to contact me please do so on +255 783 353 663

Trent Keegan /
+255 783 353 663 / +254 712 652 770 / +44 796 915 7349

A brief outline about what is happening in the area.
- Land was leased of sort to TBL Tanzanian Breweries Ltd
- Then sold to a Safari company although the Maasai say it was not theirs to sell.
- Maasai have been asked to remove stock from area. Cutting them off from grazing lands and water that they have used for their livestock for centuries.
- Then attacks on herds men and women. First arresting the Maasai people and releasing.
- As time progresses the attacks become more frequent and harsher often beating the Maasai people and demanding huge fees for release.
- Locking them up with no food or water for up to four days.
- In last twenty one days. One has been shot, eight herdsmen arrested and beaten and several herds women attacked and beaten and dumped far away from their homes having to walk up to 10km to get home
- - two of these women were pregnant one miscarried and the other who was 7 months pregnant gave birth after attack only to have child die 4 days later.

Conflict for the Maasai:
A brief outline about the Maasai:
Grazing cattle and goats in small herds to satisfy their families trough out the area.
The Maasai live peacefully with the wildlife of the area. Choosing to instil great conservation practices towards maintaining the environment and wildlife within. They are nomadic so they don’t over graze an area often moving to other pastures to give an area time to rejuvenate. They don’t hunt the wild animals living within the area for food. The only interaction between the Maasai and the other animals is during a ritual for the young warriors turning into men they hunt in groups to kill a lion. (this I understand would not go down so well amongst many westerners but it is worth noting that hunting safari’s hunt lions also but for a price)

And so:
Now I need to confirm these dates as there is some difference with actual dates. The only dates all seem to agree on here is 2003 and 2006 but as the Maasai don’t keep dates as in years I don’t think they are the best source for such.
Also the educated people of the area are fairly emotional about what is happening in the area and hence their opinion’s can be clouded by their thoughts.

1984- Tanzanian Breweries Limited (TBL), took the land from the Maasai leased the land 10 thousand acres off government (of which they didn’t own say the Maasai elders and villages) to run a trial program to grow barley for their breweries. 700 acres were planted out and over two years nothing was produced due to the harshness of the environment. For the next seventeen years nothing happened with the land. The Maasai continued to use the land as they had done for centuries.
Talking with the different elders in the area and none of them had a problem with TBL in the area.
Chief Elder Oekool Nanyoi of a Boma in the Irmasigil village explained the area that was given on loan to TBL was given in the way that you give someone who is not able to pay a dowery for a wife. You give a cow to the man so he can build a herd and when he has a herd he gives back what he has borrowed. This was expected of TBL. Know one sold the land they just expected to get it back when TBL could. However during that time there was peace over the land as TBL was happy to have the Maasai graze their stock on the land. When the crops were cut the cattle Maasai were welcomed to bring their stock in to eat off the remaining stalks of the barley.

2003 - Tanzanian Breweries Limited forged fake Maasai names, using these fake names claimed they had signatures of the Maasai people giving them permission to buy the land and were allowed to buy the land 10,000 acres/ 40 sq km of which no money was ever paid towards the Maasai of the land.
(This forged piece of paper that I can get to you is in Swahili but the people here insist none of these names of people exist in the disputed land).
With this paper TBL got the title dead to the land.

2006 - TBL sold the land to Thomson Safari.
Now this is when the trouble started. Up until today.
Small issues of - Livestock are often run off.
- Many cows are missing from herds never to be seen again as when cattle a separated they are prone to attack from the wild animals of Africa.

More importantly:
Maasai herdsman have been attacked, beaten, shot and bribed or charged horrific fees by Thomson Safari guards and police acting it seems on TS’s behalf. Women have miscarried after attacks suffering beatings and stories of been carried off on top of vehicles for some distances expected to walk home.

Talking with the elders of the area say in the first instances, TS guards came around and would tell the Maasai to take their livestock from the area. But everyday it seems the area is getting greater and is not able to be defined by any of the Maasai now.
Oekool Nanyoi said we knew the area where TBL were using and it was easy for the Maasai to avoid the parts that TBL wanted to use. We were still able to pass our livestock to the watering holes in the different areas but now we don’t know from day to day where the boundary is.
At the time of the first incidents the Maasai wondered who had given the land away. Why is this not our land we have always grazed it.
The land that TBL were using was so far away but now TS is at our back door.

Chief Elder Oekool Nanyoi:
First we were asked to move from our land, then we were arrested, then beatings became part of it. Now they are shooting. How much more is to follow?

Thomson Safari guards and police who make these attacks on the Maasai would on most occasion’s take the herdsman to the national police station in Loliondo village where they are detained only for the families of these herdsman having to pay fees/brides to get them back.
Bribes of between 300,000 TSH €160 to 500,000TSH €250
I’m saying bribes here but we don’t know what the fee is for. No receipt is ever given and very few have been brought before the magistrate in Loliondo.

Some of the Maasai herdsman have been bought before the magistrate and not been charged with anything but told in courts that they were not doing anything wrong but still have to sort out with police.
Have since learnt that the Maasai when paying these fees, deal with a person in Loliondo village the Maasai of the area consider a friend (witch doctor) who is to pay off the fees. It is he who tells the Maasai people what they must pay and hence I wonder if he himself is not adding to this.
Need to get hold of him and ask what is happening here for a receipt of the money paid. An official receipt. He could be taking a good cut for himself!!!!!!

women tending stock have been beaten and dropped in distant area’s from their Boma’s, having to walk 4-10 km to get home. Two of these women were pregnant. One aborted that night. Second gave birth in the Boma that night but the child died four days later. These women have never seen a doctor. Obviously in pain still after the ordeal.


Joshua Tarurua:

Had taken livestock to Pololet River so they could drink. He was not within TS area as he understood.
A landrover with six TS men arrived. Five of which chased him until they caught him. Then beat him with his own orika (maasai stick) in the legs, also hitting him in the face and head with fists. Causing blood from his nose and ear.
Then dropped in Loliondo police station where he was held for just one day before release. Without having to pay anything.

Lesingo’s story. 18th April 2008

Lesingo Nanyoi and other herdsmen were approached from afar by seven Thomson Safari guards and one police man with a gun, while out tending stock. They drove off without incident.
Within two hours three vehicles turned up, one police two Thomson safari vehicles all filled with police.
Told Maasai to sit down and they refused, then police started shooting at first thought to scare off the livestock and the people. But then Lesingo was shot at directly, hitting him under the chin and nicking him on the shoulder. He hit the ground. Other herdsmen ran for it but five of them were caught by police and taken away to Loliondo station.

The Maasai who had fled to the villages in the area alerted others who came back once police had left and carried Lesingo to the closest village Posimoru. One of which was Shukurr Nanyoi. Then with a vehicle from Ololosokwan village (that it is reported by Shukurr Nanyoi that they had to pay 200,000TSH to use) took him to Loliondo where he filled in a police form of his attack. With this form he was driven to Wasso village hospital for treatment.
Dutch doctor in charge Christopher +255 786 234 624 arranged the flight from Wasso to Arusha in the flight medical service.
The family burrowed money 1,300,000TSH from the doctor to fly him to Arusha and then onto dar es Salaam.
He was then sent onto dar es Salaam where he has been for last 21 days getting treatment. He's very lucky really as the bullet just tore a path under his chin and nicked his shoulder.
Lesingo is due to have an operation to replace of small piece of jaw bone that is missing in next day or two.

The other Maasai herdsman who were arrested, were taken to the jail and held until relatives could bring the fee/bribe to set them free.
Still have some confusion over this as some have been released but are still to pay the fee.

These five men joined three men already been held in the station have had to pay a total of 8,730 KSH or 161,505TSH each person for fee by police. A total of 1,292,040 TSH for the eight of them.
Cattle has been sold in Kenya to get this money, which is considerably high price for any of them to be paying.

Kapoto Naroti and elder Oloyeye Nanyoi:

Were both arrested at the time when Lesingo was shot.
Held in police station for four days until being moved to Cells.

When arrested Kapoto had his knife and sticks taken from him. He was beaten on head and legs with the blunt instruments.
(these things taken from Kapoto have never been given back to him)
Starved for four days until his wife and children came from Irmasigil village to Loliondo to give him food. Sour milk mostly.

elder Oloyeye Nanyoi:
held for four days in police station before moving to the cells
For the days he was held in the station he was not given any food by police. On the fourth day children of a friend who lived in Loliondo and were aware that prisoners were being treated this way bought food for the prisoners.
Oloyeye was never beaten.
He said he would like help to come from NGO’s as he has no faith in the government defending us or to help.

Kiraposho Naroti approximately 21 years old.
Three months pregnant was tending sheep

Extra to this is the Maasai been forced from their land in all areas of where they have lived for centuries.

Ok there a couple of things happening here.
There’s a mountain Olodonyo Lengai close to one of the areas where the Maasai dwell. This mountain is active and of recently has been releasing ash flow.
The government are telling the Maasai people living below the mountain that the area is unsafe and that they must leave the area.
The government wants to extend the Ngorongoro Conservation park to include this area.
The Maasai believe the government are using the eruption as an excuse to get the people living in the area to move from that area further away.
It is also the belief of the Maasai that the government want to end the nomadic existence of the Maasai. Wanting them to end their ways of moving and settle in homes and begin farming crops as apposed to livestock. (Like that of the native American Indians. Live in Reservations)

This is also seeming more likely with Thomson Safari creating havoc in the North pushing the people in from Irmasiling, Sukeuya, Euadooshoke and Mondorosi area with the help of the Tanzanian police whether they are just corrupt police in this area or acting with the governments approval is in question.
Also now we have heard that Otello business corporation (a safari hunting company) want to take a large chunk of the area the Maasai are using from the boundary of the Serengeti National park taking in a large chunk of land infact most of it that the Maasai reside on at this time effectively cutting off the Maasai from the water ways where the herdsman graze water and get salt for livestock.
The prime land of the whole Maasai mara.

With the map I am sending you in picture. The green is where the Thomson safari are estimated to be positioned. The Otello hunting company are hoping to taek all the land between Lake Natron to Ngorongoro Conservation are and the Serengeti.

Look at this on a map. I’ve got the rough guide map of Kenya (and northern Tanzania) and this shows the area quite well.

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