IT IS not only good news that the Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development William Lukuvi has picked the bull by the horns on land issues, but also has shown that all citizens are equally in the country, irrespective of one’s background, and wealth when it comes to ownership and acquisition.
Land is the wealth, power and a sign of belonging a citizen should be proud of, that is why from time immemorial, nations have to go to war to safeguard.
From Biblical times, 1 Kings 21:1-4: “Now there was a man named Naboth, from Jezreel, who owned a vineyard in Jezreel beside the palace of King Ahab of Samaria. One day Ahab said to Naboth…I would like to buy it to use as a vegetable garden.
I will give you a better vineyard in exchange, or if you prefer, I will pay you for it.” But Naboth replied, “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance that was passed down by my ancestors.”
In a nutshell Naboth’s refusal describes how land is valuable and to rob one of one’s piece of land through dubious means, and turn it to a personal money minting project, is not justifiable in law just like the minister pointed out.
“There is a lot of injustice in the Lands ministry; people bending the law. I am working for the government and poor Tanzanians who do not have anyone to fight for them. I will ensure injustices against poor Tanzanians are ended and that legal channels are followed to the letter.
This shows that “selfish and mobile banks” who connive with dishonest government employees to rob the poor of their ancestral pieces of land will not find a space to breathe in this regime.
Citing an example, Minister Lukuvi said while in Sumbawanga recently, a Member of Parliament gave him a shocking news on some wealthy, individuals colluding with Council staff to grab surveyed land belonging to poor Tanzanians and building houses on them, is just a tip of the iceberg of how the poor are being robbed of their ancestral pieces of land by some rich people.
It is bold enough that the minister pointed out how such staff and Dar es Salaam leading in the shame in the country would have to be taken to task.
The perpetrators are middlemen and brokers, and some are officials in the ministry of land who take advantage of undeveloped pieces of land, especially the ones which belong to widows, elderly people and orphans who don’t have money to battle cases out in courts for their rights.