8 February 2013

Tanzania: State Defends Land Tribunal Relevance

Dodoma — THE government defended land tribunals, on solving disputes, saying that without them it could lead to serious conflicts and disruption of peace.

Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, Prof Anna Tibaijuka, said the tribunals are imperative in solving land disputes and asked the House to pass a budget that would accommodate finances to create the tribunals in every district, come the budget session, this year.

The minister was responding to a query by Mr Tundu Lissu (Singida East- Chadema) who wanted to know the essence of the tribunals while there are courts of law. The query came after the State tabled the Written Laws (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No 3) Act of 2012 in the House.

"There are some magistrates who take up land dispute cases illegally. I believe that the tribunals would do a better job because they are formed where the conflicts occur. So, please let us sober up on this matter and take the tribunals seriously," she said.

She cited a case in her constituency (Muleba South) where a mother was jailed and she had to bail her out, after her own son took her to court over a land dispute, but the same case had already been decided by a land tribunal in the district.

After the mother was sentenced by the magistrate, angry residents who were aware of the matter took up arms and ambushed the residence but could not get to him. "Without the tribunals there would be dire consequences including breach of peace," she said.

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