The population of citizens in Tanzania is growing like in any other part of the world, but naturally the land does not expand.
This leaves the State, being their custodian, with one thing, of where to settle them. Looking at it from any angle, President John Pombe Magufuli (JPM) deserves praises for ordering that idle pieces of land should be surrendered to the nationals to cultivate and use in any other way in order to eke out a living.
While carrying out this re-allocation to potential land users as new owners, all stakeholders in terms of local citizens’ representatives, or precisely grassroots village leaders, and town planning regulators, as well as officials from the Ministry of Land should come together to see justice prevails in the reallocation and disputes are kept aloof.
If all parties would not be involved, chances of land squabbles and recurring land cases would not end.
In any part of the world, land is precious for settlements, cultivations and industrial installations, which means that once idle land is repossessed, its long term benefit should be exploited in such a way that it is enjoyed by all the citizens, regardless of one’s gender and status in the community.
While relocating idle land to new owners, it would be up to the government to make sure that there is an open, fair and transparent mechanism in place to keep off vishoka , (bogus middlemen and women), who would try to exploit the situation to double sell the pieces of land or fake documents to enrich themselves at the expense of genuine and deserving citizens.
Likewise infrastructures, such as transport networks, drainage and sewage treatment as well as open spaces as playgrounds, should be given priority to benefit the existing community and future generations with a clear mind that the population is increasing.
By using idle land repossession system, urban planners should make sure that town planning is done professionally in such a way that urgent access to buildings/homesteads in case of emergencies like fire are considered.
Mushrooming of buildings and erecting all sorts of structures in the name of homes should also be discouraged, and above all, all the buildings should be marked and their owners see into it that they pay plot rents.