Tuesday, April 14, 2015

An activist wants quick compensations for land victims

The government has been advised to quickly settle down the compensation payments for land victims whose areas have been valued and earmarked for the investments development purposes in the country, an activist has said. The Director of Centre for Community Initiative (CCI) Dr. Timothy Ndezi made a concern last week in Dar es Salaam at a breakfast talk debate organized by Policy Forum under the topic that said, “Moving people: What are effects of involuntary resettlements”. He said that, land victims receives their compensation payments later after their structures have been evaluated an aspect that jeopardizes lower payments for them compared to the actual costs of buying land and building materials. Dr. Ndezi who is a human right activist was presenting a paper of his study titled, “Reports on monitoring of displaced households undertaken in three districts in Dar es Salaam region.” The districts are of Ilala, Temeke and Kinondoni In his study report, he gave an example of the Kigilagila and Kipawa areas in Ilala district where he conducted a study and found out that, the displaced people had their structures valued in 1997 and received their compensation in 2011 with out-dated rates 14 years after being valued. According to him, the long timeframe of settling a compensation payment for involuntary displacements has been jeopardizing actual amount of payment for the displaced group resulting into lower payments. In view of this however, Dr. Ndezi necessitate the need for the government to make a hurry with the selected payments on time so as to match with the actual cost of the building materials and the land values as well. Contributing over the topic, discussants said that, the government has no proper procedures to be followed when it comes to the issue of repayments. Audax Rukonge of Ansaf Ltd said that, the delay of the compensation brings about the psychological effects to the affected victims for having stayed longer without being paid.  In view of this however, he added that the government must make quick payments and moreover at an international rate once it has evaluated a piece of land for investments basing to its geographical position. Another discussant Charles Mrema has faulted the government’s move and use of force to evict people from their houses on routinely classified as road reservation or other zones marked out for development projects.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      He said in an interview that the government does not follow the right channels which govern land law and recognizes the right of occupants and their erected structures. He says that such structures irrespective of the way they were erected have to be respected   specializing in land laws, Abdon Rwegasira says the habit now ingrained among government agencies is contrary to the human rights and settlements legislation, which states clearly that evictees have to be given the 45 days notice with a clearly designated place for them to shift. In view of this legal provision, it is clear that what is routinely taking place constitutes clear abuse of human rights as many families are left homeless after having been forcefully removed out of their houses by court order despite a pending land case where they lay claim to the land in question, while the government treats them as trespassers. in regard to their value and that if pulled down to pave the way for an intended project, owners have to be enabled to shift to new structures elsewhere before demolition and redevelopment is ordered to take place. Elaborating on humanitarian grounds governing evictions from public land, he said that the government has a tendency of issuing 45 days notice to potential evictees, and on expiry of such days they embark on forceful eviction, an attitude which runs against the spirit of the relevant legislation. A lawyer and a University don

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