The CCM Party has offered rewards of Shs 5,000 to persons able to kill lions in Tunduru district. Man-eaters have killed 36 people during the last three years in the district. 16 villages along the Tanzania-Mozambique border have been affected.
But Daily News writer Reggie Mhango is sceptical. He wrote that there were rumours locally to the effect that the man-eating lions were man sent. A Mozambique poacher was said to have been conned of his rhino horn by corrupt Game Scouts who, after impounding the trophy, sold it themselves. The writer noted that among the victims of the lions had been a number of Game Scouts. Another story he had heard was that a Tunduru resident who had been wronged by a neighbour had obtained a herbal concoction with which to settle scores. He lost the ‘prescription’ which was concealed in a rope. The rope was allegedly the lion and it killed him. After that the lion had satisfied its hunger on the 36 other human beings.
Although the writer considered both stories to be bizarre he noted that they were in agreement on the possibility that there had been only one man-eater. He wondered whether any of the 15 lions killed in the hunt so far had been man-eaters. He was concerned that Tanzania might thus be in danger of losing one of Africa’s proudest animals.