The government has blamed unfaithful leaders and executives for being sources of the long-standing land dispute between Chasimba villagers and Tanzania Portland Cement Company (TPCC), also known as Twiga Cement by issuing title deeds for plots which they had already issued to other people.
Minister of Lands, Housing and Human Settlement Development Prof Anna Tibaijuka said this on Tuesday in Dar es Salaam in a meeting with Chasimba villagers, local government leaders and officials from the ministry.
Prof Tibaijuka said that she has been receiving letters and documents from villagers proving them as legal owners of the plots. She said some of the letters are from the TPCC to the village authorities.
“Unfaithful leaders are to blame for the land dispute, they use unauthorized surveyors to convince the villagers that they own the land and provide them with fake documents,” she noted.
She said a team of surveyors will officially survey and evaluate the area to identify the TPCC borders because they have realized that currently there are no borders to distinguish the residential area and the factory area.
For his part, TPCC Managing Director Pascal Lesoinne was optimistic that the government will find a lasting solution to the land conflict.
Bunju Ward Councilor Majisafi Sharif said Chasimba villagers have appealed the government to take legal actions against dishonest leaders who will be proved to have forged the villagers’ documents.
Recently the government has announced that it is looking for an area to resettle Chasimba villagers as part of a permanent solution to their long- standing land dispute with Tanzania Portland Cement Company.
Prof Tibaijuka said the regional leadership had initially planned to resettle the villagers in Kibaha but it changed plans and decided to resettle them at Mabwepande on the outskirts of the city before realizing that the area had already been used to relocate Dar es Salaam flood victims.
Last year TPCC threatened to suspend production and put on hold a USD60 million expansion plan due to invasion of the company’s premises by the villagers.
The firm acquired the land where its cement plant is situated between the 1960s and 1993, when it bought out 200 villagers, according to a Tanzania Court of Appeal ruling dated August 4, 2010.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN