TZ gov’t to introduce extensive land reforms

William Lukuvi, Tanzania's Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlement Development

William Lukuvi, Tanzania’s Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlement Development

In a bid to address the longstanding land disputes in Tanzania, President Jakaya Kikwete has nullified ownership of sixteen large plantations spread across the country which were awarded to foreign investors to undertake various economic developments.

The vast land will now be resurveyed and redistributed to villagers surrounding the plantations, according to Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlement Development William Lukuvi.

Presenting his ministry’s Sh.83.043billion spending for the FY 2015/16 to the National Assembly today the minister, without divulging details on process to reclaim the disputed land, said the government had also slashed by 50percent numerous land fees and charges effective July 1.

The government hasn’t yet named the plantations to be reclaimed, and the names of the foreign companies or individuals who currently owns them.

The developments are part of the government’s response to widespread land conflicts and complaints across the country.

The minister announced land surveying costs will be significantly reduced from 800,000 to Sh 300,000 per hectare, an equivalent of 62.5 percent.

The cost of leasing land will also be slashed by 30 percent while cost for surveying business plots will be cut by a half, currently, business plot survey costs TzSh 10,000 per acre.

The government also intends to cut the cost of changing land ownership, the fees for changing titles will be TzS 30,000 as opposed to currents rates of TzSh. 80,000, likewise registration of other related documents has been reduced to TzS 40,000 down from Sh.80,000.

“The purpose is to ensure all eligible Tanzanians have access to legal land ownership,” the minister told lawmakers.

The minister went on to note that cost for title deed application will now be Sh.50,000 down Sh.160,000 and the price of documents for land occupancy shall be set at Sh.20,000 from Sh. 80,000.

“We want to survey each and every piece of land. We want all the people own legal documents for land occupancy.” The minister said