Tanzania: High Court Dismisses Land Appeal Against Tec Pg3

DAR ES SALAAM resident Yahaya Mohamed has lost his appeal opposing a decision in favour of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC) over ownership of Kurasini piece of land.

This followed judgment of the High Court's Land Division to dismiss the appeal Mr Mohamed, the appellant, had lodged to oppose the decision of the District Land and Housing Tribunal of Temeke.

Judge John Mgeta ruled "I see no reason to fault the district tribunal judgment. I thus find this appeal unmeritorious and therefore it is accordingly dismissed in its entirety. In the circumstance of this appeal, each party has to bear its own costs."

He noted that although TEC, the respondent, had neither appeared before the court not filed written submission, still the appellant fumbled in his written submission and therefore failed to convince the court that he had genuine complaints.

During hearing, the appellant had advanced three grounds to fault the Tribunal's decision. He stated that the respondent is not a registered legal entity or corporate body under the law and it had no legal capacity to sue or being sued.

Once registered, the appellant argued, TEC could only sue or be sued through its registered trustees. He submitted further that in order for the respondent to sue, there must be resolution of the board of trustees.

It was the appellant's position that there was no any board resolution to sanction for legal proceeding, thus, the district tribunal was wrong to entertain the respondent's claim. In his judgment, the judge partly agreed with the appellant's submission and partly not because that issue was not canvassed at the district tribunal.

He was of the view that the same ought to be raised at the district tribunal which should have deliberated and make a decision on it. The appellant had also contended that since the respondent was not known in law, the district tribunal pleadings were fatally defective from the beginning.

As a result, he submitted, the procedure to sue and be sued was violated. He submitted furthermore that the nature of the respondent's claim at the district tribunal was vague and ambiguous.

Therefore, he added, the respondent could not be declared owner of the suit land. As the respondent's claim is totally vitiated by anomalies, the appellate submitted that district tribunal Chairman was wrong for her failure to analyze and evaluate the evidence as a result she wrongly granted the respondent's claims.

In his deliberations, however, Judge Mgeta pointed out that the appellant did not tell this court how the respondent's claim was vague and ambiguous. He was of considered opinion that it was neither vague nor ambiguous because the respondent's claim is premised on the ownership of the suit land.

"That's why the district tribunal Chairman was able to frame issues which after properly analysing and evaluating the evidence tendered, she properly resolved them in favour of the respondent," he said. Before the District Land and Housing Tribunal of Temeke, the TEC, by then the applicant, sued the appellant Yahaya Mohamed for a piece of land measuring 45m x 20m adjacent to e wall of the main property on Plot No. 67, Block L Kurasini area which is also owned by the respondent.

It was alleged that way back 2007 the appellant trespassed into the suit land and destroyed all planted trees and erected a structure thereon. It was further stated that the appellant misrepresented to Kurasani Ward office which later issued to him forms claiming for compensation from the Government.

Responding to the applicant's claims before the district tribunal, the appellant denied the respondent's claims and stated further that the suit land as well Plot No. 67 Block L were owned by the late Mohsin. Upon hearing the suit, the trial tribunal declared the respondent the rightful owner of the suit land.

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