Zonal land offices scrapped, regional bureaus introduced

22Jan 2020
The Guardian
Zonal land offices scrapped, regional bureaus introduced

ZONAL land offices have been scrapped by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development and are being replaced by regional offices.

William Lukuvi

Opening a workshop for land officers and planners here yesterday, the minister, William Lukuvi said eight zonal land offices will cease to exist, while 26 regional offices on the Mainland are set up, hence bringing services closer to the people.

“We are going to establish regional land offices beginning next month. The offices will have planning officers among others,” he said.

The minister declared that the habitual nuisance of individuals and councils officials having to travel to zonal offices for land-related services has been solved as such services will be available at the regional level.

The decision follows the realization that it was hectic and sometimes even impossible for some people to travel long distances to reach a zonal office for routine services, he explained.

Zonal offices currently have piles of uncollected title deeds and files of unresolved land-related issues and upon inquiry by the ministry, it emerged that reaching those offices was an uphill task for rural dwellers in particular.

“As I speak, there are 20 million title deeds in zonal offices whose owners are nowhere to be seen and the challenge is distance to these offices. For instance, a resident of Mpimbwe District in Katavi Region is required to travel all the way to a zonal office in Tabora to collect a title deed,” he elaborated.

Transport, accommodation and other costs that people have to incur to reach these zonal offices have proved to be a major hindrance to access land services, he emphasized.

At the new regional offices, people will access all services ranging from planning, surveying, registry and title deed issuance, relieving the burden of travelling several hundred kilometers, thus saving time and scarce resources.

With digitization of operations in the ministry, all title deeds to be issued by regional land offices will have been synchronized with such other deeds and bear the signature of the Commissioner for Lands, the minister underlined.

He told the workshop participants that they are the ones who will be at the centre of implementation of the new system while the ministry will have a coordinating role.

The workshop discussed presentations concerning methods of implementation of an integrated system for collection of land rates.