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Dar’s horticultural sector at stake over land reforms agenda,all parties wants land restristibution

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by nngu007, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. nngu007

    nngu007 JF-Expert Member

    Mar 18, 2012
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
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    Former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa and Siyoi Sumari, the CCM candidate for Arumeru-East parliamentary by-election at Usa river small town. Picture: Adam Ihucha


    Posted Saturday, March 17 2012 at 13:59

    Politicians campaigning for a local by-election in Arusha have put land redistribution at the top of their agenda. This leaves Tanzania's multimillion-dollar horticulture industry jittery that large tracts of land owned by big investors could be seized and re-allocated to poor households.

    (Read: Arusha, central govt clash over pledged land)

    Both Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and its rival Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema), currently campaigning for the Arumeru East parliamentary by-election in Arusha, have on different occasions pledged a major land reform.

    Inaugurating the CCM campaign a fortnight ago in the town of Usa River, former president Benjamin Mkapa announced that he was going to advise President Jakaya Kikwete to undertake land reforms in Meru.

    Mr Mkapa said the land reform will see the seizure of big tracts of land owned by rich individuals and their transfer to poor, landless people on the slopes of Mount Meru.

    The Chadema candidate in the hotly contested by-election, Joshua Nasari, has vowed to repossess land if elected.

    "For the past 50 years, CCM has been in power, why has it failed to repossess the land? Let no one cheat you, they are not capable of doing so," Mr Nasari said, stressing that Chadema will "do all that is possible" to ensure that the land question in Meru is resolved swiftly.

    Horticulture, Tanzania's third major foreign currency earner after mineral and tourism, has earned the country nearly $990 million in the past three years. Nearly 80 per cent of Tanzania's horticulture greenhouses are on the slope of the Mount Meru in Meru District, Arusha region.

    The region's large size and varied landscape provide ideal water, soil and climate conditions for a complete range of floriculture and horticulture productions. Mount Meru's temperate highlands are ideal for European flowers and vegetables, while tropical lowland zones are good for warm-climate fruit and flowers.

    The executive director of the Tanzania Horticulture Association, Jacqueline Mkindi, has vigorously opposed the proposed reforms, saying her members are operating in Meru legally and any attempt to evict them will cost the country dearly.

    Meru, with 20 horticulture farms worth nearly $300 million, employs around 15,000 local people. Ms Mkindi said the association is closely watching the political wind in Meru.

    In 2010, Ms Mkindi said, the industry earned $330 million, while in 2011, it fetched $350 million.

    The dean of Faculty of Law at Tumaini University, Elifuraha Laltaika, said the proposed land reform was contrary to the spirit of the Tanzania Investment Act of 1997 and the Constitution of the United Republic Tanzania.

    "Most of these companies had applied under the Tanzania Investment Act number 26 of 1997 and, therefore, they are bona fide investors, and they enjoy investment guarantees, including a predictable investment climate," Laltaika told The East African.

    The TIC Act section 22 (b) provides that "no person who owns, whether wholly or in part, the capital of any business enterprise, shall be compelled by law to cede his interest in the capital to any other person.

    Sub-article 2 of the same article provides that: "No law enacted by any authority in the United Republic shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect."

    For decades, investors have been certain about at least one thing in Tanzania: Its political stability. The World Bank Report on Doing Business categorised Tanzania among the top 10 best reformed countries for doing business in the world, but this surprising twist in the political wind in Meru, analysts say, is introducing political risk to the scene.

    But according to the law, foreign and local investors are protected against nationalisation in Tanzania, which expressly guarantees investors' security of tenure and ownership, as well as repatriation of dividends and of profits.

    Tanzania backs plan for use of GMOs)

  2. nngu007

    nngu007 JF-Expert Member

    Mar 18, 2012
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
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    Horticulture 3rd foreign currency earner... that's why they don't care about peoples land anymore?