Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

8 February 2013

Tanzania: Village Leader Nabbed for Illegal Land Dealings

Sumbawanga — POLICE in the newly established Kalambo District in Rukwa Region are holding the Mkoe Ward Executive Officer, January Maskati, for allegedly illegally selling, to a pastoralist, more than 150 acres of land.

The WEO is said to have sold land inside the Kalambo River Forest Reserve for more than 2.5m/- and allowing him to live and freely graze his animals inside the restricted area.

The arrest followed a special operation meant to remove people who invaded the reserve which started on February 2, this year, and ended five days later, leading to the removal of more than 500 head of cattle and nine pastoralists.

It is also said that it was at that particular juncture that one Seso Luduka told the Acting Rukwa Regional Commissioner, Mr Moshi Chang'a, that Maskati had sold him the land, inside the forest, and had assured him that it will be safe for him to live and graze his animals.

Then, it was during an indoor meeting involving members of Rukwa Regional Defence and Security Committee, held at Kasanga Village that Mr Chang'a ordered Maskati's arrest. He was arrested after failing to defend himself against the allegations before the meeting.

Mr Chang'a also directed the OCD of the newly established Kalambo District to launch a manhunt for Ilambila Village Executive Officer, who also doubles as Ilambila Primary School Head Teacher, Dominician Sungura, and the Ilambila Village Chairperson, Leberatus Sikale, who are still at large.

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