Villagers and farmers in Kilombero and Ulanga districts in Morogoro have called on lawmakers to review the 2002 Courts (Land Disputes Settlements) Act on grounds that it undermines justice, fuels conflict and increases bureaucracy.
Contributing to a public debate on land rights and land governance issues that was organised by ‘Haki Ardhi’ in the two districts, the villagers said that the Act which provides for the establishment of land tribunals and land courts in Tanzania, confuses them during their pursuit for justice because the many tribunals involved lack coordination.
They complained the Courts (Land Disputes settlements) Act, set a mechanism that is very complicated and also corrupt.
They further alleged that they do not have financial capabilities to seek justice through the court system as they cannot pay for the services of lawyers as a result, most of them are unjustly loosing their rights.
Vincent Mtwanji from Mkangawalo village in Kilombero District explained that there are some investors who have acquired huge chunks of land illegally.
Commenting on the matter, Advocate Joseph Chiombola of Hakiardhi said that lack of a common organ to administer and dispense justice causes miscommunication between the decision making bodies.
He said that bodies or decision making organs, do not feel the responsibility to the other body.
The Land Officer for Kilombero District, Boniventure Kamile, urged the villagers to refrain from use of violence when seeking justice, saying they should pass all complaints through respective organs responsible for the dispensing of justice.
There have been many land disputes with residents opposing eviction order, Kigamboni Satellite Town project is a good example, which has locked the government and Kigamboni residents in a legal dispute over the land.
Tabling her ministry’s budget estimates for the 2012/13, financial year Land, Housing and Human Settlements minister Prof Anna Tibaijuka, remained adamant and warned Kigamboni residents who have started building houses in the area to ‘stop immediately’.