New land act in offing

DODOMA: PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has said that the government is reviewing the National Land Policy to come up with new land act that will help to resolve legal controversies and land conflicts in the country.

The PM informed Members of Parliament yesterday during the Prime Minister’s Questions Session in Parliament yesterday that it has come to the government attention that the policy needs to be revisited to address the challenges.

He said the review of the policy will pave the way for enactment of the new act, including harmonising other laws and regulations governing the land sector.

He said the new act among others will set a clear land use management plan and resolve disputes between farmers, miners, pastoralists and exploration rights.

“We need to review a land policy and have in place an act which will manage, in a responsible and orderly fashion, matters related to land dispensation,” stated Majaliwa.

The Premier’s clarification followed a question by Geita Urban MP Constantine Kanyasu on land controversies and rights with regard to underground land and surface land management.

Mr Kanyasu said land ownership conflicts and controversies have denied the rightful compensation to some farmers whose land has been acquired for mining and exploration interests.

Elaborating further, Mr Majaliwa said there are different regulations governing surface land and underground land management, including ownership rights.

“There are people who own property or are carrying farming activities on land surface, and there are individuals who possess permits to carry out activities in underground land such as mining.

Now when it comes to paying compensation to people with property on surface land to pave the way for carrying out activities in underground land they are not properly compensated,” said the Premier.

He said individuals who wish to acquire land for carrying out underground activities must also pay the rightful compensation to land surface owners thus, “we are revisiting the national policy for a level legal playing field to address the challenges,” Mr Majaliwa said.

In another development, Mr Majaliwa assured the MPs of the government intention to construct dormitories in all wards’ secondary schools to increase safety and create conducive studying environment to students.

He said apart from addressing the challenge of walking long distances to and from schools the dormitories will help students to have ample time to concentrate with their studies.

“We are going on with the programme of constructing dormitories in all wards’ secondary schools under the ministry of education infrastructure devel- opment programme” said Mr Majaliwa.

The clarification was issued following a question posed by Special Seats MP Martha Mariki on when all ward’s secondary schools will have dormitories as girls are affected by walking long distance to and from schools.

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