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Zanzibar steps up efforts to tackle land conflicts

STAKEHOLDERS in land matters in Zanzibar have agreed to work with Zanzibar Law Reform Commission (ZLRC) to review and improve all laws, policies and regulations that govern the sector with the aim of minimising or ending land conflicts in the Isles.

The resolution to work with the Commission was reached after they jointly agreed that most of the land conflicts in Zanzibar were caused by the existence of outdated and conflicting laws, policies and regulations that govern land matters.

ZLRC Chairperson Khadija Shamte Mzee said at the meeting held at the House of Representatives Building, Chukwani area that reviewing laws, policies and regulations along with guidelines governing land matters will definitely reduce land conflicts.

“In our efforts to reduce or end land conflicts in the country, we have opted to have consultative meetings with stakeholders in land use matters to check whether our laws, policies and regulations are up-to-date,” Ms Mzee said.

She said the country requires up-to-date land laws and proper procedure in land use to avoid escalating conflicts including ownership, sale and lease.

The chairperson informed participants that land tribunal staff are overwhelmed with cases linked to land conflicts and disputes.

ZLRC Secretary Mr Mussa Kombo said that having proper land law, policy and regulations will pave way for smooth implementation of strategies to achieve the ‘blue economy’ dream.

Dr Abdul-Nassir Hikmany from Land Commission said at the meeting that shortage of skilled labour contributes to inefficiency including delays in land surveys and issuing of title deeds.

Mr Assa Jaffar Omar said that having many laws and different policies and institutions dealing with land issues lead to tautology and contradictions when addressing land problems.

Senior officers from Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, Natural Resources and Livestock, Zanzibar National Housing Corporation (ZNHC), the Waqf and Trust Commission and Zanzibar Environment Management Authority (ZEMA); attended the meeting organised by the Zanzibar Law Reform Commission (ZLRC).

Other attendees were from Land Tribunal, Land Commission, Land Registrar, Condominium Office and Chief Government Valuer, Zanzibar Revenue Board (ZRB) was also supposed to send its representatives but failed to do so.

THE Court of Appeal has ordered the ...


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