NEMC seeking AG’s help to revive Rwakatare’s case

03Mar 2016
Finnigan wa Simbeye
The Guardian
NEMC seeking AG’s help to revive Rwakatare’s case

AN environmental degradation case involving former ruling party special seats lawmaker, Getrude Rwakatare which was illegally settled out of court by one of National Environmental Management Council lawyers may be revived next week.

Rev Getrude Rwakatare stands outside of her house

NEMC Director General, Dr Bonaventure Baya told a news conference in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday that the council is consulting Attorney General’s chambers to get legal advice.

“We are consulting with Attorney General’s Chambers and the within the next ten days the court case will resume,” Dr Baya said.

Dr Baya whose institution has recently warned Dr Rwakatare’s Mountain of Fire Church based in Mikocheni for noise pollution, said NEMC was not involved in the illegal settlement involving one of its legal officers.

“In principal we are going to revive the court case because the council was not involved in the out of court decision,” Dr Baya noted saying Rwakatare’s mansion built within 100 meters from the sea front at Kawe beach must be demolished.

He said the NEMC’s legal officer who has since been sacked acted single handedly after the case was at High Court for a year.

“NEMC had wanted to demolish Rwakatare’s house but she rushed to court and filed an injunction which after a year the matter was illegally settled out of court by the sacked legal officer,” Dr Baya pointed out.

He said demolition of houses built in illegal areas such as open spaces, river banks, and swamps and within road reserve, will be revived once a court case filed by some Dar es Salaa residents is disposed of by High Court.

Meanwhile, NEMC has imposed penalties and warned several Christian churches against noise pollution. Dr Baya said several companies, hotels and institutions have been fined and warned for the same offence.

Over 8,000 houses built in squatters are targeted for demolition in the commercial capital alone as the government talks tough in restoring sanity in the construction sector.

Over 300 houses had already been demolished by the time the High Court suspended the exercise last January.

Apart from Dr Rwakatare’s church, other defaulters include CRJE East Africa who also got a 50m/- penalty, Matei Hotel which was fined 5m/- Tanzania Cigarettes Company Limited fined 15m/- but has opted for a court case. Sinza based Sloam church was warned and complied.

“It is important for people to know that noise pollution is an offence which many ignore,” Dr Baya noted, saying that the law clearly stipulates that noise polluters should be sanctioned.

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