Tanzania to auction hunting rights

Russell Padmore

Business correspondent, BBC News

Tourism companies operating in Tanzania will, as of next month, have to bid for the right to hunt in designated areas through a new online auction system.

The move is aimed at preventing corruption in this lucrative sector of the travel industry.

Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority says 26 hunting blocks will be made, with a maximum of five blocks allowed for any company.

Most of these are in the Unesco-listed Selous Game Reserve, known for its elephants, lions, zebras and giraffes.

Tourism last year contributed $2.4bn (£1.9bn) to the Tanzanian economy, and almost 1.5 million people visited the country which counts beaches, wildlife safaris and Mount Kilimanjaro among its attractions.

A lioness sleeps in Selous Game Reserve.
Many of the hunting sites are in the famous Selous Game Reserve
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Tanzania judge frees opposition leaders

Peter Mwai

BBC Africa

Esther Matiko (L) and Freeman Mbowe (R) in court, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Esther Matiko (L) and Freeman Mbowe (R) have spent more than three months in jail

Tanzania's High Court has released on bail two senior opposition politicians who were charged last year with sedition, incitement to violence and holding an illegal rally.

Freeman Mbowe, the chairperson of the main opposition party Chadema, and Esther Matiko, the women's wing treasurer, had been in custody since November when their bail was cancelled for failing to show up for two hearings.

They had been arrested earlier in the year in connection with a protest march in which a student was killed by a stray bullet fired by the police.

Mr Mbowe defended himself, saying he had missed both hearings as he had been ill. Ms Matiko said she had missed one because she was on an official mission to Burundi.

The judge, Sam Rumanyika, ruled that their rights had been violated and ordered their immediate release.

Opposition politicians and rights groups have been calling for their release, saying they were "political prisoners".

President John Magufuli has been criticised for limiting political freedoms since coming to power in 2015, and has banned political rallies.