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Government validates squatters

…nullifies seven forests, 12 game reserves

THE government has nullified 12 game reserves, covering 707,659.94 acres, ordering their redistribution to wananchi for residential and farming uses.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the government has as well approved the distribution of disqualified seven forests reserves with 46,715 acres to citizens, for similar purposes.

The bold decisions emanates from the findings by an eight-minister team that President John Magufuli formed last January to analyse and advise on the lasting solutions to the protracted land conflicts in the country.

“The team has today submitted the report to the president, with the analysis showing that 975 villages—not 336 as was reported before—were haunted with conflicts.

The cabinet, which sat today under President John Magufuli, has decided that the 920 villages will remain within the reserves,” said the premier, adding that the cabinet had also decided that the villages’ boundaries be demarcated afresh, provided with title deeds and helped with proper land use planning.

Mr Majaliwa said the remaining 55 villages were still on evaluation and their report will be issued soon. The list of villages’ locations, wild animals’ areas, forests as well as the nullified farms will have to be declared in future.

It was further noted that, the government also agreed to take parts of the 14 forest reserves for agriculture and livestock activities as well as nullifying 16 undeveloped farms and putting them into farming and livestock uses.

The premier said the villages have to retain about 500 metres, which had been set aside as buffer zones in the areas adjacent to forest reserves and wild animals.

“The Vice-President’s office should accomplish the guideline which will be indicating the land uses within the 60 metres from rivers, water sources, Lakes and Sea.

The citizens are strictly forbidden to encroach the reserves…stern legal measures will be taken against any kind of invasion,” warned Mr Majaliwa.

He directed the ministries and government authorities to protect their areas by setting permanent visible boundaries.

COLLECTIVE action taken by stakeholders in ...

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Author: ABELA MSIKULA

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