16 December 2012

Tanzania: Zanzibar Bans Lease of Land

IN an effort to minimise land disputes in Zanzibar, the government on Friday imposed an indefinite ban on the lease of land in arable areas.

Second Vice President Ambassador Seif Ali Iddi declared the ban in Dole villages, South Unguja after several complaints had been brought forward on the land owner.

Seif was prompted to prohibit land leasing after several farmers including community leaders complained to the Vice President about inappropriate allocation of land.

The Vice President formed a four member probe committee to investigate the allegations and provide recommendations by February next year. MPs for Dole and Mfenesini received complaints from their electorates saying that land crisis is a problem in the area, accusing officials from the land office of being dishonest.

"Some of the officers from land department are not fair, they are biased creating unnecessary conflict in the society," Said Kombo a resident complained.

Responding to the complaints from farmers, the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources Mr Afan Othman promised to initiate investigations. "We have to verify that land for leasing goes to farmers who deserve the land," said Afan as the Director Land. It was suggested that the three hectare land allocation decree of 1964 should be reviewed.

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