Tour drivers in Kenya accused of Maasai disturbing
Friday, 29. June 2012, 14:53
TOUR drivers have denied allegations that they have been exploiting the Maasai community whenever tourists visit Manyattas in Maasai Mara.
Led by Kenya Tourists Drivers and Guides Association
chairman Joseph ole Parpai, vice-chairman Andrew Mungatana and Coast Tours
Drivers Association chairman Nzomo Benjamin they said tour drivers are honest.
They were reacting to media reports by British tourist
Cherly Muvula who alleged that they have been exploiting the Maasai villagers
by taking their money. "We are wondering where the tourist got the report
yet our drivers and guides have been executing their duties effectively,"
Mungatana said. They threatened to file a defamation case against the tourist
for terming them as "robbers."
Mungatana said they want the Briton to prove her
allegations in court after she posted the remarks on internet and appeared in a
section of the media.
"We cannot allow a tourist who, instead of touring
the country to see beautiful sceneries, is calling us thieves," Mungatana
Parpai demanded to know what they have forcefully taken
from the Maasai community. "If there is any complain, the tourist should
have followed the right channel rather than going to social media. This has
tarnished the sensitive tourism sector," Parpai said.
He said Maasai elders have never complained of such
exploitation and wants to know the source of the information. "She has
been colluding with a former tour guide in Maasai Mara to tarnish our tourism
industry," Nzomo said.
He urged the government to investigate her conduct
claiming that she is out to kill the tourism industry which is one of the
country's leading sources of income. "The tourist tried to introduce the
receipting system in the manyattas but she was shocked when her bid flopped.
The Maasai community wants to handle the cash directly," he said.
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