Arusha — THE over 400 acres initially proposed for the defunct 'Safari Satellite City,' project which died a natural death, continue to be born of contention among Arusha-Rural District Council officials.
Already nearly 500 people who were promised to be allocated plots in a section of the vicinity at the throw-away costs of 100,000/- per plot, in the so-called, 'Laki-Laki,' area, with almost all of them already paid the money, demand their funds back.
On the other hand, the Arusha- Rural DC had procured loans amounting to 8.6 billion/- from the African Development Bank so as to buy the entire area from the previous owners who used it as an estate but have not been able to raise enough cash for repayment.
The Arusha-Rural District Executive, Mr Khalifa Hida, said the people will be compensated because the central government has decided to reclaim the entire area and change its proposed land-use.
The previously planned ambitious project was to establish a new satellite city, in the expanse remote location of Laki- Laki area (named after the 100,000/- that locals were supposed to pay for plots) in the area. The proposed new city which was to be known as 'Arusha DC Safari Town' was meant to ease congestion of people in the overcrowded Arusha City.
The Arusha District Council Director, Mr Khalifa Hida, has admitted that, the project will no longer take off and it is high time to refund the over 400 people who had acquired plots in the new location.
Construction works for the new 'Arusha DC Safari Town' was scheduled to start at the end of 2011, but due to some misunderstandings, the plans were pushed forward to early 2012 but as more controversies continued to hound the project, authorities decided to bury the whole thing.
Among the problems surrounding the 'City' project was lack of proper planning for road networks, water supply and the fact that some people complained of having paid for plots but failed to get their portions.
The Arusha Regional Commissioner's office previously issued a statement to the effect that the 430 acres of land, which was earmarked for the proposed 'Arusha Safari City' have been taken under the central government and will now be used to build the premises to house the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the Bank of Tanzania and other institutions.
The ACHPR Court, which is an organ of the African Union (AU), is currently operating from the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) buildings in the Urundini Majengo area of Arusha, along Dodoma road.