7 December 2013

Tanzania: Four Residents Frustrate Kigamboni Bridge Building

CONSTRUCTION of the 680 metre Kigamboni Bridge in Dar es Salaam may come to a standstill following a tug of war between the government and the four residents at the area who have refused to pave way for building of the bridge's approach roads.

According to an official from the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, Mr Adam Yusuf, the residents had declined to allow evaluation process on the demanded land and their properties to be compensated for work on the project to progress.

Speaking to reporters in Dar es Salaam on Friday, the Project's Financiers, National Social Security Fund (NSSF) said the residents' refusal to vacate the area hampers work on the project that was planned to be completed in 36 months time.

"It is now 22 months since the construction of the project kicked off... in the 14 months ahead, the constructor is supposed to hand over the bridge," noted the Fund's Project Manager, Eng. Karim Mataka.

Eng. Mataka said that following the objection of the four residents, the implementation period that has already been slowed down may be extended further or come to a standstill.

He noted that if the residents remain on the site, they (financiers) will stop the construction of the project and seek government interventions on the way forward.

"I have planned to seek government advice on the way forward by December 22, this month, if the problem will continue to persist," he said.

In a meeting with the officials from the Ministry of Lands, TANROADS, Ministry of Works and the financiers, three of the four residents said that they will not heed the call unless the government allows negotiations on the compensation rates before carrying out the evaluation process on their lands and properties.

Through their legal representative, Mr Shamsudin Ahmed, the residents namely Abbas Sebakulu, Adia Jumaa and Faiz Hassan said the government should meet and discuss with them over the compensation rates and be provided with the compensation registration form number 70 before giving in their properties for evaluation.

Responding to their claims, Mr Yusuf who is also the Evaluation Officer from the Ministry of Lands, said that the residents will meet next Tuesday with other officials at the Ministry and discuss the controversy.

The four were among 120 residents who were relocated from the Vijibweni area in Kigamboni to pave way for construction of the bridge.

He said that the rest left the area after being paid by the government, leaving eight residents who had refused to allow evaluation process in order to be compensated. Four of them have since decided to vacate the area after they were compensated.

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