Second complex lies idle for 7 years

11Mar 2016
Prosper Makene
The Guardian
Second complex lies idle for 7 years

AN up-market plot located at Mikocheni in Dar es Salaam which was once earmarked for the construction of a shopping mall called Dar es Salaam Village by ZEK Group International in 2009 has remained idle for almost seven years now.

Angellina Mabula

The expectations were to have the place housing the second largest shopping mall in the country after Mlimani Shopping Complex owned by the University of Dar es Salaam and a Botswana based Turnstar Holdings Limited.

‘The Guardian’ failed to get comments from the investor, ZK Group International, a Tanzanian property development firm, which planed to erect the village project with a $33m investment.

Deputy Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development Angellina Mabula told Property Watch over the phone that the government has already ordered district councils to report to the ministry all plots that have not been developed for many years so that they can be repossessed.

“I did not see this case of Dar es Salaam Village project as you said in my office after delaying to develop their plot, maybe it’s not a problem to the Kinondoni Municipality, because if it is a problem, the case should have been referred to the Ministry for further action,” she said.

She added: “We have directed all district councils, with reasons to bring all plots that are not developed to the Ministry for Land, Housing and Human Settlements Development so that the President should issue plot cancelation certificates.”

Mabula also said that district councils are entitled by law to give those who are not developing their plots 90 days notice to explain why they are not doing so.

On his part, Kinondoni Municipal Mayor Boniface Jacob said: “We are not dealing with people’s property, maybe he does not have funds to develop his plot, I am not engaged in private issues, he bought the plot and I have nothing to do with it because it is not public property”.

Meanwhile, the Dar es Salaam Village project has 37,000 square metres of shopping space. Kenya-based giant retailer Nakumatt Holdings Limited is said to have booked 10,000 square metres of space.

Zadock Koola, Chairman of ZEK Group, told the press in 2010 that the mall will be constructed in three phases.

The first phase, consisting of the mall, will accommodate the Nakumatt supermarket chain while the second phase estimated to cost $17m, will have mixed retail space and a hotel, while the third phase will have residential houses.

The developer said then that while the project was still in the first phase of construction, about 80 percent of the space had already been booked by tenants from both within and outside Tanzania.

ZEK Group International was jointly planning to develop the area in partnership with a South African strategic investor.