Monday, September 28, 2015

Ministry directs Mbarali DCD to inform an investor to return land

In what seems to be a move under the operation to reduce escalating land disputes in the country, the Director of Mbarali District Council (DCD) in Mbeya region Adam Mgoyi has received a letter from the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development that requires him to inform an investor who had acquired land formerly owned by local people in the district to surrender it immediately, the Citizen has reliably learnt. The Director Mgoyi said yesterday that, a letter which has been written by the Commissioner of Land from the ministry headquarter, has directed him to ensure that an investor surrenders a land portion of between 1,870 and 7,370 hectares which he had acquired to develop paddy fields in Kapunga Rice project. “On Wednesday this week I received a letter that orders the investor to return a land title deed which had guaranteed him legal ownership of the 1,870 hectares of land which the government has now revoked his ownership and directed to be owned by the local people”, Mgoyi said. 

Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development Mr. William Lukuvi

He noted that, the area which had been acquired by the investor is among the many hectares of land currently in dispute with neighbors and people living around the area. People in the area have been insisting that, the government through the National Agricultural and Food Corporation (NAFCO) had given to the investor a vast portion of land which currently is in dispute when it was seeking for the land in the area for investments purposes. Mgoyi clarified that, the government’s action which it has taken of issuing a letter that requires the investor to return the land to the local people, will be a permanent solution to the long standoff of the land ownership in the district which has caused a mutual of misunderstanding among users. Contacted for comments, the Commissioner of Land from the ministry Dr. Moses Kusilika admitted to have been some changes the ministry has made including to order the return of portion of land the investor had taken for development and relocated to the local people in the area. He said in a telephone interview that under the process, the ministry had withdrawn a land title deed which the investor had presented to the bank for the sake of getting loan for development and agreed with the bank after long consultations to verify that an investor had a certain portion snatched from the hectares he earlier took so that in his title deed should be accepted with the remaining hectares after an evaluation was completely done according to the law.

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