(eTN) – Political analysts and tourism stakeholders are trying to interpret the proverbial tea leaves right now, when it became known that long-serving Permanent Secretary Ladislaus Komba was sent to the foreign affairs portfolio yesterday for special duties but notably not as their new PS. He has been replaced by Ms. Maimuna Tarishi who previously served in the Prime Minister’s office.
The tourism industry has of late, in spite of sectoral successes, suffered immense threats over the ill-considered and hugely controversial highway across the Serengeti, the political fallout on hunting concessions and their pricing, and also alleged collusion to deprive the country of revenue and the prospect of having three UNESCO World Heritage Sites come under the threat of being withdrawn. One of those is, of course, the Serengeti itself, but a similar threat hangs over the Zanzibar Stone Town where a political deal for a new hotel is making huge waves, while the third site is Stiegler’s Gorge at the Selous Game Reserve, where plans are reportedly being revived to build a hydro-electric dam and power station.
Since the former TATO – short for Tanzania Association of Tour Operators – Secretary General has made his way into parliament, beating a ruling party candidate, there is increased competence on tourism matters now found on the opposition benches, plus the all-important link with the private sector stakeholders who have come to appreciate the tenacity and competence of defending the tourism industry’s interests in parliament.