Tanzania’s campaign to seize land left undeveloped by investors and return it to farmers is causing a political storm after it affected ex-prime minister Frederick Sumaye.
Tanzanian government has revoked former prime minister Frederick Sumaye’s ownership of a large farm because it had been left undeveloped for a long time.
According to Kinondoni District Commissioner, Ali Hapi, the title deed for the 33-acre farmland on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam was revoked on October 28.
He said the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development had given Sumaye a 90-day deadline to develop the disputed plot or face losing it.
Mr Hapi, speaking at a rally in the Mabwepande area, said Sumaye has been notified of the decision and is now banned from the land.
”Security forces will be deployed to ensure that no activities are carried out in this area pending legal formalities to transfer the ownership to the respective municipal authorities.”
Frederick Sumaye, who served as Prime Minister from 1995 to 2005, has however rubbished the claims of land development.
He said the decision to revoke his deed was politically motivated, citing his defect to the opposition as the reason.
“If they thought dispossessing me of this farmland would force me to re-join the ruling party, let them forget it. I will not go back.”
Regardless of the motivation behind Sumaye’s land seizure, the land reform campaign in Tanzania has been on the rise over the past few months.
It is estimated that the government revoked ownership of more than 4,400 acres of land in Morogoro in May alone.
President Magufuli has also closely monitored affairs in the land sector in an effort to tackle inefficiencies and corruption while improving government control.