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Help Dar demolition victims, CUF tells govt

Updated on February 16, 2017

CUF Deputy Secretary General Magdalena Sakaya addresses the media in Dar es Salaam yesterday about the demolition excercise baing carried out by the goverment in the city.(Photo: Michael Matemanga)The Civic United Front (CUF) yesterday called on the government to immediately offer humanitarian aid to hundreds of families whose houses have been demolished in a clean-up exercise along Msimbazi valley in Dar es Salaam.

The CUF call comes barely two days after the government announced new guidelines that would see holders of legal title deeds relocated to other areas.

The opposition party observed that the ongoing exercise countrywide had failed to consider the rights and humanity of the victims, some of whom legally owned the plots in question.

Magdalena Sakaya, CUF Deputy Secretary General (Mainland), told the press yesterday in the city that the demolition exercise also violated the country’s constitution, Section 3 (12) and (13) that emphasises respect for humanity.

“The government should stop the countrywide demolition campaign and make an analysis before resuming the exercise.

We have heard about human rights violation cases where the exercise has been implemented in Dodoma and Dar es Salaam … this has to come to an end immediately,” she said.

Sakaya said the demolition exercise had left scores of Tanzanians, mostly lower-income earners, homeless, who were unable to build houses even if they had been given a five-month ultimatum to vacate the areas.

She said government officials responsible for issuance of title deeds, knowing the places in question were hazardous for human settlement, had to be held accountable.

“The government’s failure to invest in land surveying and mapping to cub unplanned human settlement is the cause of all these demolitions affecting innocent people,” she said.

“You can be surprised that Dar es Salaam and several other cities and urban centres have no proper master plan yet the government come force to evict residents who have sought hospitality for more than a decade.”

Meanwhile Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT-Wazalendo) has also challenged the ongoing demolition process along the valley saying the government authorities need to bear the responsibility and not residents.

ACT-Wazalendo deputy secretary general, Msafiri Mtemelwa told the press yesterday in the city that such authorities have sabotaged the national economy and should be held accountable.

He said his party believes in patriotic and integrity for every leader to perform his/ her duties by following the country laws.

However, Mtemelwa appealed the government to have humankind and help those victims of demolition by allocated the safe places for living before shifting them, and ensure for their safety.

In a related move, he advised the government to investigate and verify the entire exercise of given out plots to flood victims of 2012 at Mabwepande in the outskirt of Kinondoni district in the city, to find out if they divided and given out to the targeted people.

“There is hearsay that those plots at Mabwepande were given out to non-victims of flood, and divided to those with power” he said.

Meanwhile, Mtemelwa said they have received new members who defected from their previous parties to ACT-Wazalendo, those defected are from National Convention for Construction and Reform Mageuzi (NCCR- Mageuzi), Tanzania Labour Party (TLP) and United Peoples Democratic Party (UPDP).

One of the ACT-Wazalendo new member, Getrude Pwillah, who was NCCR-Mageuzi Women Wing Secretary General said, “I decided to join this party because of being attracted with its policies”.

Despite claims by the Dar Es Salaam Regional Commissioner Saidi Meck Sadiki early last week that all the December 2012 flood victims secured plots, CUF deputy secretary general says the majority were not given plots at the designated area at Mabepwande yards in Kinondoni district.

However, the government figure indicates that only 150 victims at Mabepwande obtained title deeds from the Lands ministry out of over 1,200 victims.

Mwajuma Ismail (35), a victim of the Mkwajuni demolitions in Kinondoni district, said she was unsure about the fate of her eight-year-old daughter, adding that she depended on a good Samaritan.

She told The Guardian that her daughter was scheduled for classes tomorrow but there was no hope whether the school girl would join other kids when the school opened.

Already the government has vowed to take disciplinary measures against government officials who issued non-sanctioned permits and title deeds.

A total of 774 houses have so far been demolished in a campaign that kicked off less than two months ago.

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