Friday, April 3, 2015

Call for a need to have a tribunal for land resettlements

The absence of land tribunals at district and regional levels has been cited to be among the contributing factors inciting the increased rate of land chaos in the country, a human right activist has observed. Emmanuel Barigila of Human Rights Commission (HRC) made a concern yesterday in Dar es Salaam when contributing to a debate on a topic titled, “Moving people: what are effects of involuntary resettlements”  which was presented for discussion at breakfast talk organized by Policy Forum held at British Council. He said the village land committees which operates at village levels do not have legal mandate to effectively deal with serious land issues emanating in some places in the country. However, he added that a uniformed body with land experts could be enough to deal with the matter. He said Tanzania has to emulate other East African countries whose governments are not faced with numerous land crisis as the  case in the country because they have established land tribunals in their countries to deal with land issues when it comes to the compensation to pave for investments purposes. Contrary to what is happening here in Tanzania, Barigila noted that, land compensation has caused lots of family problems because such crisis do not have a specific body to deal with the matter at a district or regional levels. Earlier, discussants over the topic poured much blame to the government for its failure to tackle land issues currently in crisis between pastoralists and peasants and other individuals in some parts in the country for various reasons. Presenting a paper over the topic titled ‘Impacts of resettlement’ the Director of the Dar es Salaam based Centre for Community Dr. Timothy Ndezi said that, the government need to establish a national land policy in the country that would address issues of land compensation clearly so as to minimize the emerging chaos  in other country. In his paper presentation that outlined the study reports on monitoring of displaced households undertaken in three districts of Temeke, Ilala and Kinondoni in Dar es Salaam region, Dr. Ndezi said that, about 25 involuntary displaced households were poorly paid to pave government projects in Suna, Pugu  Kinyamwezi and Kurasini areas. He further noted that, most people affected by involuntary displacement in these areas were not aware of the process and procedures followed as there was no transparency in the whole process. He concluded that, the availability of the national resettlement policy was vital to avert all the incoming problems of involuntary resettlement in some areas in Dar es Salaam bearing the fact that about 80 percent of the residents in all three districts of Ilala, Temeke and Kinondoni lives in squatter settlements. He said in these districts there is still larger areas which arer prone for further relocation to pave land for investments such as the expansion of ports and airports and other economic facilities. Another presenter, Ibrahim Bakari who is a Junior Consultant with International Development Consultants Limited based in Dar es Salaam highlighted his grave concern over the matter and noted that, a government has to establish a framework body that would look after the benefits of the relocated people. He noted that, the problem of accountability among top most government officials is all causing land chaos in various places in the country, and this is primarily due to improper framework under which the government is operating when it comes to the issues of compensation of land.  However, he noted that, the government is not serious to hold accountable its top most senior officials who make various mistakes after relocating people from an area to allow investments. Policy forum is an institution that conducts platform debates  which together with other its functions helps to highlight country’s policies and ensure that are active to undertake the development initiatives with a views to improve the lives of the people in the country through enhanced governance and accountable use of public resources.

No comments: