Village leaders and executive officers in Dodoma are facing an accusing finger from the Kondoa District Commissioner, Omar Kwaangw', who is alleging that they are instigating land conflicts in attempts to solicit bribes.
Kwaangw’ aired his concerns during a brief ceremony held in Chamwino District to launch land preparation efforts ahead of the upcoming planting season to catch the heavy April rains. In attendance was the Regional Commissioner, Dr Rehema Nchimbi, who was the guest of honour.
“Most leaders fall into corruption and this affects the manner in which land is distributed…” lamented the DC “…in most cases the perpertrators of land disputes happen to be village leaders and executive officers…" he accused.
He offered advice to both villagers and officials saying the villagers must peacefully settle boarder issues and follow the law on the other hand he would have the land officers ensure the safety of water sources and catchment areas by making sure that land surveys avoid such wet lands because these are reserved areas.
Kwaangw’ also laid blame on the government accusing them of not paying compensation for land they acquired, he also raised other land related issues and on top of that list was, arbitrary change of land use, as well as double allocations of plots.
“Village leaders should not grab land without first adequately compensating the previous occupiers, it is inconceivable that a leader can distribute up to 59 acres without following the required procedures…" the DC said.
He noted that difficult decisions must be made to ensure that those executives who do not abide by the law are terminated.
Still on land but on a different issue, Dr Nchimbi, proposed that Dodoma was not as dry as most people have been led to believe. According to her “…that is a misconception….” And so her office has “…undertaken a campaign to enlighten people of the fact…”
Nonetheless, she still adviced on planting crops that use water efficiently and those that are drought resistant but “…other crops can also grow well…" she reminded any would be farmer.
The Chilonwa Member of Parliament, Ezeckiah Chibulunje, called for cooperation among executives, political leaders and the wananchi in order to bring about sustainable development. Also, she emphasized on the importance of the agricultural extension officers to visit rural areas to meet their office charged obligations and afford the farmers their due services.