9 November 2012

Tanzania: PM Orders Council to Solve Land Disputes

Dodoma — ALL land disputes involving locals and investors should be solved in the councils as no land was given to investors without their sanction, Premier Mizengo Pinda told the House.

Mr Pinda said prior to handing over land to any investor in the country, respective councils had been consulted and thus it was illogical to forward claims to the central government over such disputes. Mr Pinda was responding to Mr David Kafulila (Kigoma South-NCCR) who claimed that the government possessed huge chunks of land in his constituency while residents went landless.

Mr Kafulila said that the government had controversially offered over 10,000 hectares to Agrosol and other 3,000 to Felisa as residents' pleas to regain the lands went futile. He said that the residents were brutally kicked out of the areas thus it was sending signals that the government was violating its party--CCM manifesto of making lands major means of production.

"Giving such chunks of land to foreign investors only means that the government was perpetuating imperialism; privately, I see that possessing lands to foreigners while locals are left without land is a typical sin," Mr Kafulila noted. Seeming to be vividly annoyed, Mr Kafulila said that there was pressure from above that forced both region and district council to approve possession of such lands to foreigners.

Premier Pinda said that central government was not going to intervene any lands related disputes for councils were first to sit and see if it was wise to repossess the land. He added: "The central government is only to be notified on what you have reached upon, you also need to keep record clear that the no land is possessed to foreigner without council's consent."

Mr Pinda directed Mr Kafulila to through his council discuss the matter and come up with a decision that would wisely end up the dispute. He also trashed claims that allowing foreigners to possess land in the country was a sin for land was meant to be used for production and thus it was absurd seeing some land left undeveloped.

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