16 August 2017

Tanzania: Local Govt Leaders Powers Clipped

Photo: The Citizen
Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Development Settlement William Lukuvi awarding Customary Certificates for Rights of Occupancy to villagers in Nyange village.

Kilombero — A ban has been slapped on local government leaders from demarcating villages, which have certificates for it affects governments efforts of ensuring proper land use.

Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Development Settlement Mr William Lukuvi said this when awarding Customary Certificates for Rights of Occupancy (CCSRO) to 2,111 villagers in Nyange village, Kilombero District, Morogoro Region.

The exercise follows a pilot project in three districts namely Kilombero, Malinyi and Ulanga, the exercise which was meant to help reduce land conflicts and increase transparency.

The Land Tenure Support Programme is implemented by the ministry and funded by UK Aid, Danida, and Sida to the tune of $15.2 million.

"We have banned ward councillors and village leaders to demarcate the villages especially those surveyed due to their political ambitions or malicious issues," he said. In another development, he said that villages with fast expansion should be gazetted so that the government takes the right decisions in accordance with the law. He named Kidatu as one of the areas that are growing fast and would soon become a township.

"Nyange is the first area in our plan, but call on the district officials to ensure that the programme works. After the completion of the project, we want to move on to other areas of the country," he said.

He said owners of the CCSRO will not be charged taxes because the government aims at ensuring that they develop their land profitably.

For his part, Danish ambassador to Tanzania Mr Einar Jensen said the government has made a huge stride in ensuring Tanzanians have access to surveyed land.

He said such an initiative signifies that Tanzania is on the right path towards becoming a middle income country by 2025.

"Now Tanzanians of all walks of life can be able to access loans through this programme and therefore enable them progress," he said.

Meanwhile, the programme coordinator, Godfrey Machabe said the project targets 160 villages including 80 villages in Kilombero, 48 in Ulanga and 32 Malinyi.

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