VILIMA Vitatu villagers in Babati District have called upon the government to intervene in the land dispute between the community members and the French investor, Un Lodge En Afrique Limited (ULEA) which has lasted for seven years.
Community's Advocate from FK Law Chambers, Mr Deusdedith Duncan, said in Dar es Salaam that despite the High Court in Land Division ruling in favour of the villagers, the investor has kept harassing them.
"Community members woke up on September 4 this year to find out some of their houses had been burnt down by unknown people after the investor to have threatening to do so for if they would not vacate the area since the judgment in March," said Mr Duncan flanked by some community members.
On March 15, the High Court in Land Division under the three judges panel led by Judge January Msoffe, ruled in favour of the community members who were protesting to vacate the land against the Village Administration and the ULEA.
According to the advocate, ULEA which is owned by two French shareholders (Nicolas Negre who holds 99 per cent of shares and Planteau Du Marroussem who holds 1 per cent of share) were given the land by the Business Registrations and Licensing Agency (BRELA) on May 26 2008.
But he said it was against the law for a person who is not a citizen of Tanzania to own the land and that only the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) could offer the land for the investment purpose.
"BRELA gave the land to the investors plus the right to own the Burunge Wildlife Management Authority (WMA) which part of Vilima Vitatu village against the law on investment. The investors were only required to repair two class rooms of a primary school in a village," he noted.
Mr Giamu Marishi, one of the villagers, said the government should intervene the matter so that the villagers could resume normal activities, saying for the past seven years they have been harassed by the investor.
"We urge the government to help us so that community members can resume their normal activities," said Mr Marishi through an interpreter.