Demolition of 1,194 structures along Msimbazi River was lawful -Zungu

23May 2020
Henry Mwangonde
The Guardian
Demolition of 1,194 structures along Msimbazi River was lawful -Zungu

​​​​​​​THE government explained that the demolition of 1,194 structures in the banks of Msimbazi River in Kinondoni Municipality in Dar es Salaam was a legal exercise.

Vice President (Union and Environment) Mussa Azan Zungu.

Kinondoni MP, Maulid Mtulia (CCM) claims that the 2015 exercise crushed at least 690 homes at Magomeni Sunnah, 253 structures at Kawawa, 200 building at Hananasifu and 51 other structures at Mkunguni A but he says “none of the owners were compensated,”

He asked why the authorities bulldozed houses of Kinondoni residents without compensation. “When will the affected families receive their benefits after being forced homeless?” he asked.

In a written response, Minister of State in the Office of the Vice President (Union and Environment) Mussa Azan Zungu detailed that the exercise was conducted in the city between December 17 and 22 and resumed in January 2016 before being suspended indefinitely following some court injunctions.

“We only suspended the exercise to allow court hearings that were lodged by some residents in various courts in the city,” the minister said. He noted that the demolition involved seven government authorities.

They include the National Environment Management Council (NEMC), Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlement Developments Urban Planning Department, Office of the President Regional Administration and Local Governments—Dar es Salaam Municipalities, Ministry of Natural Resource and Tourism (Forestry Unit), The Police Force, the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) and the Tanzania Intelligence and Security Service—TISS.

“The demolition of illegal structures was part of developing the Msimbazi river basin in Dar es Salaam,” he said. Adding, “the exercise aimed at protecting the lives of the people living in the flood-prone river from losing their lives, properties and destruction of infrastructures.”

Zungu insisted that the exercise followed all the legal processes which include assessment of all the structures in risk areas, identifying all the illegal structures and marking the required structures to be demolished with x—mark and provision of time for tenants to vacate the premises for the exercise.

The minister noted that in addition, state authorities installed beacons for the river basin and shut down all social services including water, electricity and communication.

“I want to inform the lawmaker that the government through the ministry of land has established a complaint desk specifically to all the people who were affected by the exercise,” he said. The exercise was run legally, transparent and without prejudice or favouritism as all people with legal demands had been compensated.