Dodoma — The government has given the National Environment Management Council (Nemc) until 4pm this afternoon to explain why Rev Getrude Rwakatare's house has not been demolished despite being constructed in a reserved area.
Rev Rwakatare is a nominated MP (CCM). Her multimillion house situated in Mbezi Beach, Dar es Salaam, has been allegedly constructed in contravention of the National Integrated Coastal Environmental Management Strategy, 2003 and the Environmental Management Act, 2004. Deputy minister in the Vice-President's Office (Union and Environment) Kangi Lugola yesterday directed Nemc to conduct an indoor roundtable meeting with his subordinates and ask why other people's houses adjacent to reserved areas had been demolished, but not Rev Rwakatare's.
The matter resurfaced after the Parliamentary Committee on Industry, Trade and Environment's yesterday meeting with Nemc to grill the ministry on why the house has not been demolished. They wanted the government to explain if there was anything special about the house, which was beyond its powers. Ms Gimbi Masaba (Special Seats-Chadema) said it was very frustrating because "we witness the government demolishing even houses of prayer. What is so special about Rev Rwakatare's house?" she queried.
When given a chance to clarify the matter, Nemc told the committee that in 2012 Rev Lwakatare was given a notice to demolish her house for environmental reasons, but a few days she filed a case at the High Court to object to the demolition of her house and the High Court issued an order to halt the demolition. Mr Lugola then directed Nemc lawyers to look into the controversial issue.
He said after receiving the report from Nemc lead lawyer, he would take action.