THE government has directed advocates overseeing cases in District Land and Housing Tribunals to observe professionalism, saying some have been purposely delaying hearings of land cases.
Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlement Development, Dr Angelina Mabula, also directed a study be conducted on the causes of land cases which have been idle for a long time.
Opening the district land and housing tribunals working session under the Tanganyika Law Society (TLS), she said some advocates have been the source of land cases piling up due to failure to observe their diaries.
“Some have been using the tribunal as a scapegoat for bank loan defaulters by applying for court injunction whereby some advocates have been misusing the order, hence causing delays,” said Dr Mabula.
This has been leading to complaints whereas the banks which have issued loans are failing to collect their revenues from defaulters simply because there is a court injunction which prevents them from acting.
The situation, she said, has a negative impact on the economy since the banks cannot collect the debts so as to issue loans to other beneficiaries since the capital is stuck in the land tribunals.
She ordered the Permanent Secretary of the ministry to pay special attention to Dar es Salaam’s land and housing tribunals because it is the leading region with a big number of unheard land cases mostly involving bank loan defaulters.
The Minister advised TLS to deal with its unfaithful members who are painting a bad image of the cadre over failure to observe ethics.
She cited a special case in Mapinga ward in Bagamoyo district in which an advocate is handling cases of the people claimed to have invaded the land of the indigenous people.
In this case, she argued, the advocate tampered with the dates when the indigenous occupied the land in favour of his clients.
The Minister said there was no reason for case delays, saying most of the matters in the tribunals are not bound by legal technicalities as they can be given room for discussions.
Commenting, TLS Central Zone Manager Ally Nkhangaa said they will work on the challenges raised by the minister, including those regarding disciplinary issues and submit them to the respective bodies.