THE Muslim Council of Tanzania (Bakwata) is in a land dispute with two old men, who claim to have inherited the 40 acres farm situated at Chita Village in Kilombero District in Morogoro Region from their dead parents.
The duo, Mr Alfonzi Kakweche and Mgainamba Kihakwi, have decided to take the matter to the High Court’s Land Division, appealing the decision of the District Land and Housing Tribunal for Kilombero/Ulanga, which had ruled in favour of Bakwata.
The appeal came for mention before Judge ModestaOpiyo and has been set for hearing on December 5, 2019. Through their advocate Sabas Shayo, the two appellants have advanced several grounds to fault the Tribunal findings.
They state that the Tribunal erred in law and facts for trying the matter, while lacking pecuniary jurisdiction to determine such land dispute and disregarded the appellants’ testimony, which established their title over the disputed premises.
The appellants stated that the Tribunal erred in delivering judgment in favour of Bakwata, the respondent in the appeal, without concrete evidence and taking into consideration the opinion of wise assessors to the standard required by law
It is stated in the memorandum of appeal that Tribunal erred in law and fact for holding that the land in dispute was long abandoned by the appellants, and that the respondent followed all the legal procedures required before acquiring the land in dispute.
“The appellant prays to this Court (…..) that the decision of the District Land and Housing Tribunal for Kilombero/Ulanga District dated February 8, 2018 be quashed and set aside,” the appellants requested in the memorandum of appeal.
In response to the grounds of appeal, however, the respondent strongly disputed and requests the Court to dismiss with costs the appeal for lack of merits, however, Bakwatamaintained that the Tribunal had pecuniary jurisdiction to determine the matter.
Equally, the respondent maintained during the determination of the dispute that the opinion of assessors were considered to the standard required, and that the Court had ruled in their favour based on concrete evidence presented by witnesses, who were no doubt competent before the Tribunal.
According to the reply to the memorandum of appeal, the respondent stated that it was the evidence which identified Bakwata as being the real lawful owner of the disputed land and that the Tribunal was right, correct and proper to hold that such land had been abandoned by the appellants.
During the hearing of the land dispute, Mr Kakweche had maintained that the land in dispute belonged to his late father, who ancestrally had been occupying it ever since 1960, when he was born and found his parents living on the farm.
Since the death of his father, he said, he inherited the piece and became the legal occupant, besides the fact that his parents were buried at the farm, hence it was never abandoned as alleged by Bakwata.
On his part, Mr Kihakwi had told the Tribunal that having married to Kakweche’s sister he had been occupying the farm as a tenant.
On the other hand, Bakwata had been maintaining that they got the farm from Chita Village Council in 2007 for the purpose of constructing a school having followed all the legal procedures.