3 August 2017

Tanzania: Bogus Landlord On the Prowl, Swindles Three Property Owners

Photo: Daily News
Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, William Lukuvi

The Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, Mr William Lukuvi, has uncovered a bogus landlord of Arab origins involved in three different land scams in Dar es Salaam and Mtwara regions.

The Minister also suspended a Ward Executive Officer in Lindi Region who masqueraded as an official for the ministry and took the opportunity to transfer part of a beach to a company owned by a businessman identified as Ikbar.

Mr Lukuvi disclosed this during an exercise to resolve land conflicts, which saw him listening to complaints from Ilala residents in Dar es Salaam. The exercise that ended yesterday saw the Minister going through 99 complaints on the first day.

"We have discovered that the bogus landlord, Omar Mohamed Agil, has been deceiving owners of properties in the name of partnerships and thereafter forges title deeds he uses to borrow money from banks," said Mr Lukuvi.

He noted three different cases of which two involves properties in Dar es Salaam and another in Mtwara Region. "Based on this revelation, I have directed my offices not to carry out any transfer, transaction or mortgage in this person's name until further notice," ordered the Minister.

In one of the incidents, Mr Lukuvi said the fraudster entered into a partnership with a blind man known as Mtumwa Shame Zemba, who owns a property at Mtoni and used the title deed to take a loan at Amana Bank.

"We have known the old man for a while and have been paying his dues, so I have asked Amana Bank to submit the title deeds to my office tomorrow (today). If Agil has an outstanding balance, he should know how to settle it," he said.

On the other hand Agil changed the title deeds of a property owned by his uncle and another partner by replacing the name of his uncle with his. He went on to use a picture of his house girl purporting it to be of the wife of the other partner to enable him get a loan from Amana Bank.

Agil is said to have received a loan of 300m/-, without the involvement of the other partner.

The Minister, however, directed the parties to turn to the courts of law for resolve. Lukuvi (pictured) went on to reveal that up to 180 title deeds have been revoked in the city due to rampant fraud, forgery and bribery and returned to their original owners.

In the course of the exercise, the Minister said they discovered that the deception has been going on since the first phase government.

The Minister said the conmen deceive and grab poor people's properties through the help of public servants.

"These people operate by colluding with our officials to go through the history of undeveloped land and produce duplicates of offer letters with backdated information.

Our officials assist them to remove original offers in the files. In order for their story to look real they deep the documents in tea for the paper to look older than the original copy," revealed Mr Lukuvi.

Mr Lukuvi added that long back the officials used to survey one area three times and sell the properties twice or thrice.

"To date, we have dished out about 700 alternative properties to victims of such malicious acts at reasonable prices, as compared to the market value in Pemba Mnazi and Kigamboni," added the Minister.

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