First VP: Speed up land acquisition to end conflicts –

ZANZIBAR: THE First Vice President Othman Masoud Othman has directed officials from the Zanzibar Commission for Lands (ZCL) to speed up the land acquisition process in order to minimise conflicts and complaints related to compensation.

He stressed that surveying is crucial in land acquisition because it helps to end recurrence of land disputes and also pave the way for quick compensation for people who have vacated their areas to allow the planned projects to be implemented.

Mr Othman issued the directives in Pemba after he visited Makaani area in Vitongoji, Pemba South Region where he heard residents of the area complaining that it has taken them too long to be compensated after they were asked to leave their areas.

” The land which has not been surveyed and lack of land acquisition contributes to the existing conflicts. We should avoid bureaucracy to minimise complaints,” Mr Othman said, adding that the land commission must ensure that people are not oppressed and be honest in dealing with land issues.

“Allocating land to more than one-person, illegal ownership using questionable documents backed by dishonest land staffs, are among the issues that people complain about,” he pointed out.

The first Vice President warned that such problems lead to delays in development, further noting that the government also cannot move forward to implement its programmes…guidelines and land law procedures in the country must be observed.”

Pemba South Regional Commissioner (RC) Mr Matar Zahor Masoud said his office has been trying to monitor, provide education and give solutions to various land conflicts that arise in his region to ensure that citizens live peacefully.

He said “President Dr Hussein Mwinyi has repeatedly pushed to ensure that land disputes are resolved and there is no land taken for public use without the rightful owner being compensated.”

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