THE government has established a total of 97 Ward Tribunals in various parts of the country to help address land disputes at the grassroots, the National Assembly heard on Tuesday.
Deputy Minister for Land, Housing and Human Settlement Developments, Angelina Mabula made the revelation explain that of the 97 Tribunals, 52 were conducting cases, while the remaining 44 were not operating meanwhile.
However, she was quick to point out the challenges behind failure to establish more of the Tribunals hinged on manpower scarcity, and shortage of buildings in relation to the number of cases available.
That was in her response to a supplementary question by Sonia Magogo (Special Seat-CUF), who wanted to know whether her ministry would establish a Ward Tribunal at Handeni, where residents with land disputes were being forced to travel all the way to Korogwe for legal services.
Supplementing the deputy minister’s answers, Minister William Lukuvi told the House that considering the heavy load of land disputes, their ministry had established Ward Tribunal at Lushoto.
However, he was of the view that even Handeni residents would still benefit from such establishment of the Tribunal.
In her basic question, the Member of Parliament had sought to know the government’s plans to help the Handeni District residents, who lack pieces of land enough for agricultural purposes in crowded places.
The deputy minister explained that the land inspection exercise carried out in 2018/2019 period, in the district revealed availability of four farms with 7,279.26 hectres, which have not been exhaustedly improved, thus was tempting the residents to encroach into them.
“The government continues with procedures of revoking the ownership of the farms that have violated developments conditions, and where their owners have been given the revocation notices in vain,” she said.
After revocation of the ownerships, the deputy minister further said, in the land involved would be planned for different use, including agriculture and animal keeping as well as distribution to the villagers without pieces.
Furthermore, she said, such planning would also consider land banking for future use and urged the citizens to use their pieces of land for production, saying that the land space does not expand, while the population, livestock and other activities on it do.
Ms Mabula, in addition, directed Ward and Village leaders stop the habit of leasing pieces of land to the residents, saying it’s against the procedures and the laws of the country.