Mbarali villagers in land row with MP plead with Lukuvi to visit them

14Feb 2020
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Mbarali villagers in land row with MP plead with Lukuvi to visit them

RESIDENTS of 11 villages in Mbarali district of Mbeya region who are involved in a land row with their lawmaker through his company, Highland Estate Limited have pleaded with Lands Housing and Human Resources Minister, William Lukuvi to visit them and get first hand information.

Mbarali paddy rice farmers at work.

Chairman and Secretary of a committee formed to follow up the matter with Lukuvi said the Lands Minister has been misinformed by his lieutenants at both district and regional level because their lawmaker, Pirmohamed Mulla has influence over them.

“We call upon Minister Lukuvi to come over and talk to us because his assistance here both at district and regional level are in bed with Mulla who has influence over them,” said Patrick Mnyota who chair the villagers committee.

“We have been harassed and threatened by district and regional officials who claim that Mulla is the rightful owners of the land which incorporates our farmlands,” noted Oswald Mndeva who is secretary of the group.

Recently, Minister Lukuvi told The Guardian that the villagers are of part of beneficiaries of President John Magufuli’s revoked land which he ordered to given to villagers from the land conflict prone district when he visited Mbarali in May last year.

“These people are not part of the beneficiaries because their matter is being addressed at regional level,” Lukuvi said when asked about allegations that President Magufuli’s order has not been legitimately executed.

In an open letter to President Magufuli in December 2019 signed by Mnyota and Mndeva, the residents argued that the head of state’s directive made while on a visit to the district last this year to return their land and present him with names of the beneficiaries has yet to be fulfilled.

“Your decision to hand back our farms grabbed by Highland Estate Limited while on a visit to Mbarali in May this year and directive that regional authorities present to you a list of villagers and their signatures after getting back their farms, is yet to be implemented,” the letter which has been signed by 12 representatives said.

Dated December 12, 2019, the residents said Mulla’s estates has not removed beacons erected in 2017 which annexed their farms as directed hence request the president to intervene and demand the list of beneficiaries as earlier demanded.

The 11 villages which include Nyeregete, Ibohola, Mbarali, Ubaruku, Utyego, Mayota, Warumba, Urinda, Ibumila, Imalilosongwe and Mwanavala, allege that Mulla and his company has annexed farms which are outside the two National Food Company (Nafco) farms which he acquired in 2014.