MEMBERS of Parliament took the government to task, after comprehending that only ten per cent of the funds budgeted for compensation to Kigamboni residents to pave way for the development projects in the area has been released so far.
The government has set aside 60bn/- in this financial year as recompense to the affected residents, but only 5bn/- has been dished out -- five months before this financial year ends.
Presenting a brief report on the progress of the project to the Parliamentary Committee on Lands, Natural Resources and Environments, the Deputy Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, Mr Goodluck Ole Medeye, admitted the shortcomings.
He said all other arrangements pertaining to the project (apart from the compensations) were likely to delay, until the overseer of the project, the Kigamboni Development Agency (KDA), is officially established. "We have not been able to pay compensations as it was directed by the Treasury, since the funds should be raised from the land rent that is expected to generate about 90bn/- by end of this financial year where 60 per cent of it will be spent on that purpose," he said.
On the establishment of the KDA, the Deputy Minister said arrangements were in the final stages for the Agency to assume the office as soon as the establishment order is expected to appear in the government gazette soon. Earlier, MPs demanded to know the reason behind delays in implementation of the project, asking for the Ministry to prepare detailed explanations including financial strategies.
MP for Kigamboni Dr Faustine Ndugulile (CCM) was of the view that without involvement of the people in the whole project, no tangible results would be realized. He said all parties taking part in the project have to make sure maximum transparency particularly on the compensations.
Ms Magdalena Sakaya (Special seats -CUF) cautioned that the delay of the project could have economic repercussions as affected residents, despite having borrowed money from banks, had failed to develop their settlements for the past five years.
"It appears the preparations of this project were not good from the beginning, this has caused massive losses to people who borrowed money for construction of their houses ," she said. On her side, Susan Lyimo (Special seat- Chadema), said MPs need to conduct physical verification of the project area and see what was going on on the ground.
She said the delay to pay the residents was likely to create conflicts in the future, calling for the government to make sure they are paid as soon as possible. Saleh Pamba (Pangani- CCM) said the government has to make sure KDA becomes operational and interested third parties be removed to avoid conflicts like demonstrations and court injunctions.
The Deputy Minister in response said already some foreign and local investors have shown interests in the 20 years project estimated to cost between 10trl/- to 15trl/-.