George Mcheche Masaju

George Mcheche Masaju

High Court Judge Winfrida Korosso rejected an objection by the AG to oppose the hearing of the land dispute in question, ruling that the objection lacked merit. The AG had sought for the dismissal of the matter because it was time barred.

The AG had alleged that the plaintiffs, the residents of Kurasini area, ought to have filed their case within one year since the dispute accrued, in particular relating to compensation.

However, in her ruling, Lady Justice Korosso agreed with the submissions by advocate Francis Stolla, for Kurasini residents that the matter involved was a land dispute and the time limit was 12 years and not one year as submitted by the AG.

Following the dismissal of the objection, the matter will proceed for full hearing of the dispute at a date to be fixed later. Court records show that the residents had at different times established their residences at the disputed area, Kurasini Amcargo, where they improved the said land by erecting buildings and other structures.

However, in October 2007, a dispute arose when the government, through the Ministry of Lands and Human Settlement Development, conducted valuation of the residents? properties at the areas for the purpose of paying full, fair and prompt compensation.

After completion of the valuation exercise, the government arrived at a certain amount at the value to be paid to each of the residents as compensation for the said landed properties on the disputed land. Subsequently, the government paid the said compensation to residents.

The residents were dissatisfied with the compensation paid to them, alleging that the said landed properties had been highly undervalued. As a result of such undervaluation, the residents decided to take the matter to the High Court?s Land Division, to seek injunctive orders.

They complained that the disputed land was un-procedurally valued whereby the government valuers allegedly conducted the valuation without involving the residents.

According to the residents, their landed properties were highly undervalued. ?The valuation process did not consider the current actual costs or market price and value of the building materials that could be used to construct the houses and other buildings of the same nature as the ones that have been undervalued,? reads part of plaint of the suit.

On top of the said unfair compensation, it is claimed; the government promised the residents of providing them alternative plots at Kibada area, Mji Mwema in Kigamboni, Temeke District, which has never been done.

By FAUSTINE KAPAMA, Tanzania Daily News

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