Tanzania: Lukuvi Acts Tough at Coco Beach

LANDS, Housing and Human Settlements Development Minister Mr William Lukuvi on Monday stepped up to demolish a playing field project along the Coco Beach area in Dar es Salaam.

The minister ordered all councils countrywide to shun from altering the use of open spaces.

He also warned land officials across the country from giving misleading advice to the councils to change the master plans of their areas, saying they lack such powers.

In line to this, the councils have been cautioned against allocating land plots along beaches and islands, noting that all beach plots are allocated for commercial use or hotel investments under the National Land Allocation Committee.

"Not even a single council is allowed to change the available plans of an open space, unless our Assistant Land Commissioners responsible for handling our offices across the country are notified," said the minister when he paid a visit at the Coco Beach area, where the five-aside pitch project was being set up.

He notified the Kinondoni District Executive Director that should they enter into the illegal deals, it will be upon them to clear the mess.

According to Minister Lukuvi, specific guidelines have stipulated the role of district councils, which involves setting plans for an area and not otherwise.

"All open spaces are guided by the law, I have gone round asking the neighbours whether they were involved in any way but they were not.

"Mr DED any plans with regard to altering the use of open spaces should involve the stakeholders, who are the community around the given area," Lukuvi said shortly after he stepped into a bulldozer to pull down the erected fencing at the area.

When the minister demanded an explanation about the five-aside pitch project, he was informed that the structure that is expected to be erected in the area is temporary.

To his surprise, at the construction site, the Minister witnessed fencing which was constructed using iron rods, which he considered as a permanent structure.

The Minister notified the Kinondoni District authority present at the site that they had violated the law. Had they exhausted all parameters, it was clear that the place would obtain signboard, showing that the area's use had been changed.

Due to the revelation, he ordered Assistant Land Commissioners countrywide to identify all open spaces, which have been invaded for them to be reinstated.

"These are valuable land plots which belong to the people and not otherwise...you are only planners.

"President John Magufuli made it clear when he gave orders for beaches to be used for public consumption and suspended any constructions from continuing at Coco Beach," noted the Minister.

To his surprise, this is the third time they have had to suspend construction at the area, pointing out that there is no reason for them to repeat themselves again and again.

He urged the authority of Kinondoni to stop tampering with the area, recounting how the same area led to the suspension of some of the top officials in the council.

"Why tamper with the area while you have four plots which you have not developed...if there is a dire need of playing grounds you describe it, there are playing fields in almost every secondary school."

He maintained that the area will remain with its status quo and the residents will carry on with their normal activities as the governments in collaboration with the stakeholders embark on a suitable and sustainable plan for the area.

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