19 September 2017

Tanzania: Evictee Complaints Blamed On Unjust Hopes

UNJUSTIFIABLY high expectations are the reason behind complaints by people evicted to pave the way for execution of development projects, the government explained yesterday.

Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, Dr Moses Kusiluka, said many evictees were nursing high compensation expectations as a result of increased awareness or wealth pursuit.

Dr Kusiluka was speaking to the 'Daily News' ahead of compensation to people who will vacate their lands for the construction of the Hoima-Tanga oil pipeline.

The 1,445-kilometre pipeline from Uganda to Tanzania will stretch through Tanzania's eight regions - Kigoma, Geita, Shinyanga, Tabora, Singida, Dodoma, Manyara and Tanga.

A June unveiled report, 'Balancing Infrastructure Development and Community Livelihoods,' highlights some key findings from the execution of Mtwara- Dar es Salaam gas pipeline.

According to the Oxfam Tanzania and HakiRasilimali organisation compiled report, the communities affected by the gas project were dissatisfied on the compensations.

But, in an interview, Dr Kusiluka stated that the law applied in the valuation and compensation, saying the Land Acquisition Act of 1967 and the Land Law of 1999 provide for full, fair and prompt compensation to all evictees.

And the land policy also states that compensation for land acquired in public interest will base on opportunity cost concept, with valuation considering market prices, disturbances and transport, among others.

"The law is clear that if compensation is delayed, interest will be charged and has always been adhered to," said Dr Kusiluka.

Speaking at the oil pipeline foundation stone laying, President John Magufuli declared that all people who deserve compensation will be fully paid, saying the land had already been surveyed and satellite photos taken to identify the areas for compensation.

Dr Magufuli categorically warned people who have started setting up infrastructure on the already surveyed land, saying payment will base on the status of the land during the survey.

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