Monday, April 20, 2015

AWATI association cries foul over land eviction

An Association of transporters operating at Temeke municipal council in Dar es Salaam region has raised a grave concern over their eviction from a place they had acquired to trade which originally was used for Southern region bound upcountry bus stand. Speaking in an exclusive interview on Tuesday this week, a senior member of the association known by its Kiswahili acronym as ‘UWATI’ Nassoro Jongo said that, their removal from the area did not follow legal procedures as required by the law bearing the fact that, they had been operating from the area since 1974. He noted that the association which has about 100 members had acquired full registration from the Ministry of Home Affairs in 2008 and are currently doing their activities off an area which has been fenced by Temeke municipal officials claiming to have given it to an investor to develop a garden for recreation. When asked whether the association has a land title or not, he admitted to have no one but kept on insisting to have been operating in the area since then until the government issued a full registration certificate for the association which does not guarantee legal occupation of an area. 

However this paper managed to contact a municipal official in the department of city planning who spoke on condition of strict anonymity that he is not a spokesperson said that members’ removal was legally followed as the area has been set for other purposes and not for petty business activities including car washing. He said according to the municipal bylaws, an area which has been declared to be in the city centre is not allowed to be used for some other purposes like a garage which cause inconveniences such as noises, unfriendly business environment to the surrounding people. In view of this, however he s aid that such business entities are removed from the city centre and relocated far away from the main town as part of the programme dubbed “city’s sustainable development” with the aim of cleaning Contacted for comments, Temeke District Commissioner, Hon. Sophia Mjema clarified more on the issue and said in an exclusive interview on Thursday that, the eviction of the association was legally committed following an order from the Vice-President’s Office that required all garages in the city centres to be relocated. After having come across the problem affecting UWATI members, she noted that, her office has undertaken steps to help the group together with other small scale business groups to acquire pieces of surveyed land in Tuangoma areas on the outskirts of the city which has been set aside for the construction of a market in Temeke district.

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