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Pentecost church loses land dispute appeal

REGISTERED Board of Trustee of Pentecost Evangelistic Fellowship of Africa has lost its appeal against 40 residents of Kigoma Region over ownership of a piece of land.

This followed the decision of the High Court, Kigoma District Registry (Land Division), to dismiss with costs the appeal in which the Board, the appellant, had lodged against findings of the Kigoma District Land and Housing Tribunal. Judge Athumani Matuma ruled against the appellant after holding that the appeal in question lacked legal merits.

“Without much ado, this appeal is devoid of any merit,” the judge declared.

The appellant had appealed against the decision of Tribunal, which had upheld a preliminary objection presented by Abas Hassan Nyamkunga and 39 other residents, who were respondents in the appeal, on a point of law with effect that the land dispute over trespassing into the land was time barred.

When determining the appeal, the judge noted that it was the appellant herself who disclosed that the respondents trespassed into the dispute plot way back in 2000.

He said that from 2000 to 2019, when the appellant filed a suit, it is obvious the 12 years prescribed period for recovery of possession had elapsed.

“The trial tribunal thus properly dismissed the Application for being out of time. In the premises, this appeal has been brought without sufficient cause and it is hereby dismissed in it’s entirely with costs,” he ruled.

The judge also raised a concern in the cause of hearing, as it transpired that some of the respondents were sued while not in existence.

He gave a good example of the 19th respondent, Idrisa Ramadhan, who is reported dead since 2001. He observed further that some other respondents have sold their respective shares in the dispute plot but those who purchased them and who are in actual possession are not part of the suit.

“A good example is the 29th respondent Rashidi Mgarura, who sold to Tatu Ramadhani. He sold before the suit was instituted. Tatu Ramadhani is the one in actual possession and she is the one in Court but was not sued,” the judge said.

Judge Matuma advised, therefore, that the appellant should seek for extension of time to sue and identify her real respondents before commencing the suit.

The appellant sued the respondent for trespass in land claiming that the respondents trespassed into her land since the year 2000 which she was dully allocated way back in 1988.

The respondents raised preliminary objection on point of law that the suit was time barred. Having heard the parties, the trial tribunal upheld the preliminary objection which aggrieved the appellant, who decided to file the appeal in question.

In the appeal, the appellant complained that the preliminary objection raised did not qualify to be an objection because it needed evidence.

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