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Tanzania: Zimbabwe Style (Land Invasions) Begins

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by digby, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. d

    digby Member

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    ZIMBABWE STYLE LAND INVASIONS FORCE BRITISH INVESTORS FROM THIER HOME

    On the eve of President Bush’s visit to Tanzania, Zimbabwe style land invasions have begun in a country stated by President Kikwete to be an ‘investor friendly haven’. British Investors Stewart Middleton and Sarah Hermitage have been brutally forced from their farm only eighty kilometres from where Mr. Bush is staying in Arusha.

    Speaking on the BBC South East network last night the investors stated they had left their farm in Moshi due to threats to their lives and those of their staff. They described the situation as involving the use and abuse of the police and the judiciary, which has now culminated in the arbitrary unlawful arrest, and imprisonment of their senior Tanzanian management team. Ms. Hermitage states, “there is no one in authority in Tanzania protecting either ourselves or our staff and leaving the farm was the only option we had to protect our lives in response the constant death threats we were facing”.

    Despite assurances from the Director of Public Prosecutions to the British Government that he will resolve the abuse of law in respect of those imprisoned, the men remain incarcerated in Karanga prison Moshi and their appeal rendered impossible by the convicting magistrate Principle Magistrate Dudu’s refusal to produce the court ruling required for their appeal.

    The British Government views the arrest of the men as a direct and unlawful attack on British investment in Tanzania. The Foreign Office issued a statement to the BBC last night acknowledging there was evidence of harassment and intimidation against the investors and their Tanzanian staff but stating it was hopeful that the situation could be resolved.

    Ms. Hermitage, admitted to the Supreme Court of England & Wales responded by stating, “ for the last three years Benjamin Mengi has been attempting to steal the lease to our farm. He is supported by a pervasively corrupt police force and judiciary and has resorted to Zimbabwe style violence and thuggary in particular, threats to murder us and behead our staff. The police refuse to accept and investigate any criminal charge against Mengi overtly supporting his criminal conduct. Shame is being brought on Tanzania by the refusal of the Tanzanian government to apply the rule of law to our situation. Our farm has now been invaded which is tantamount to nationalisation. Armed local Militia and Massai cattle brought to the farm by Mengi under the authority of a court order obtained by abuse of law have, in the last two weeks alone destroyed $50,000 of export crops. An act supported and sanctioned by the police and local administrations. The abuses of court process have been brought to the attention of the Chief Justice but the situation remains unaddressed by any rule of law.”

    On the issue of resolution, Ms. Hermitage states, “President Kikwete has been aware of this situation for three years and his government has failed to act”.

    The Public Complaints and Corruption Bureau Chief Edward Hoseah produced a report on the issue in early 2007 at the request of former British Foreign Secretary Margaret Becket. The report revealed that the investors were the lawful owners of the lease.

    Commenting on President Bush’s visit to Tanzania Ms. Hermitage states, “ A complete state of anarchy exists in Moshi, which has created a legal vacuum in which thuggary, violence, and abuse of due process prevails with impunity. The levels of corruption we face are unimaginable. The question has to be asked why; President Kikwete has allowed this situation to persist for three years without intervention. On the one hand, he is proclaiming good governance to the world and receiving copious amounts of aid on this basis and yet a brutal Zimbabwe style land invasion is taking place in the country together with human rights abuses that have been brought to his attention by the British Government repeatedly.

    President Bush should be mindful of the fact that good governance requires certain mandatory imperatives primarily, the rule of law and a transparent and independent judiciary. He should therefore be well advised to look past the rhetoric of good governance trumpeted daily around the world by the Tanzanian government and acknowledge the reality of the prevailing situation in Tanzania.”
     
  2. J

    Jasusi JF-Expert Member

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    Digby,
    I wouldn't equate what befell these British investors with what is happening in Zimbabwe.
    As I understand the situation, these "investors" had an agreement with a Mr. Mengi to buy the land in question in Moshi. Apparently after they had paid, Mr. Mengi colluded with powerful people in Moshi to make "life difficult" for these investors. They claim they paid Mr. Mengi, not Reginald, I might add, $250k for this land. To me it is a question of utapeli and not a Zimbabwe style land invasion. Another issue is that land is scarce in Moshi. They should have done their research and get another and maybe better piece of land elsewhere in Tanzania.
     
  3. SYLLOGIST!

    SYLLOGIST! JF-Expert Member

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    Zimbabwe never invaded a British Land! period!

    And who is making the life of Zimbabwe people dreadful?

    Yaani wanadiriki kusema hata hayo?

    I wonder what the wananchi wa zimbabwe wanasema!

    Shabash!
     
  4. d

    digby Member

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    As I understand it then, you are advocating the abuse of law in Tanzania. The investors had a lawful assigbnment and were forced out of the country by abuse of law and benjamin Mengi. Is he above the law?

    They were aske to invest by the TZ government, can they not ask simply for the rule of law to be applied to theit invetment interests and the conduct of Mengi?

    This is not a dispute. Simply, mengi sold the farm, demanded it back. The High Court dismissed his claim so he simply stole it. he came onto the farm broke the lock chased of the investors staff and took possession. All this, with the consent of the RPC and RC. With respect, if yopu are going to coment, please, get the facts right.


     
  5. M

    MzalendoHalisi JF-Expert Member

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    Sasa kweli Mchagga na ardhi.. Mangi na Kihamba as Land is so scarse Moshi ni wapi na wapi? Kwa nini hawa jamaa wang'ang'anie Moshi tu.. wakati Tz ardhi safi tele?

    May be we get only one side of story...if we could get Mengi side..then this would be fairer!

    What is wrong? I dont have any other examples of such cases Happening in Tz..may be there is another picture in the matter not revealed!

    Hope hii matter will be discussed in-depth at JF as kwa kweli uonevu sii jambo zuri Tanzania kwa wageni investors au wananchi!

    Well JF we dare to speak openly!
     
  6. d

    digby Member

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    The story is told eleoquently through the courts and the judiciary and police. The charge sheet on Mr. Middeltons first arrest contained charges that do not exist in the penal code. His four (Tanzanian) staff are in prison for offwences they did not commit and serious criminal offences have been committed by Mengi in front of the RPC in Moshi such as threatening to cut up the investors with Panga's and send them back to Zimbabwe. A truely racist comment given they come from the U.K. The RPC did nothing.

    Kikwete has known about this issue for years and high level disucsuions go on and on. The bottom line is, no one wll apply the rule of law to the situation and Benjamin mengi's criminal conduct.

    I think the issue here is the protection of the Mengi name. Mengi has IPP Media to air his views, the investors have no one as the press will not print anyhting that remoely criticises this family name. the investors certainly cannot rely on the rule of law in Tanzania.

    Who suffers here, not the investors who go home and live in their nice houses with money in the bank but, the 120 Tanzanian staff that have lost their jobs and have to suffer this filthy corruption due to the TZ Government inability, for whatever reason to address it.!
     
  7. Mzee Mwanakijiji

    Mzee Mwanakijiji Platinum Member

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    digby.. lete hizo contacts za mhusika tuache sisi wengine tufuatilie. Kuna njia moja tu ya kukata majungu.
     
  8. SYLLOGIST!

    SYLLOGIST! JF-Expert Member

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    Then.... No, now! Lawful assigbnment?... "were forced out of the country by abuse of law and benjamin Mengi".....

    Sijaelewa!

    And who is advocating for the Zimbabweans land, whose was, and is, invaded? "Can they not ask simply for the rule of law to be applied to theit invetment(land) interests and the conduct of..."

    And if it was not a dispute what was in the High court? Majungu?

    Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah! "Tanzania: Zimbabwe Style (Land Invasions) Begins"

    and the subject matter is?

    Read and do your 'assigbnment' kabla hujapayuka!
    Asante
     
  9. zomba

    zomba JF-Expert Member

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  10. J

    Jasusi JF-Expert Member

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    I still do not see the connection with Zimbabwe's land saga here. That is my point.
     
  11. SYLLOGIST!

    SYLLOGIST! JF-Expert Member

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    Apparently digby was so eloquent enough to find the connections! LOL
     
  12. d

    digby Member

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    What was in the High Court was an application to have the investors evicted. The High Court Hon Kileo, (Land Case 1, 2006) dismissed Mnegi's claim. He went ahead and unilateraly declared the assignnt void in abuse of law. He has now invesded the farm broken into the investors house stolen their property and brought a trator onto the farm and declared ownership of the farm.

    If you cannot see the anology with Zimbabwe I cant help rspectfully.
     
  13. J

    Jasusi JF-Expert Member

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]
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    March 03, 2008 | PREVIOUS EDITION | SEARCH
    [/FONT] ​
    [​IMG]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=+1]British duo flee Moshi after death threats[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]By STAFF WRITER[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]Two British investors have fled Moshi in northern Tanzania after receiving persistent death threats in the wake of an invasion of their multimillion shilling Silverdale Farm by a large herd of cattle that caused massive destruction to property.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]Last week, the 500-acre farm was invaded and all workers evicted. Stewart Middleton and Sarah Hermitage — who have been locked in a protracted battle for control of the 550-acre farm with their local partner, Benjamin Mengi — said they had been feeling more and more vulnerable after a court in Moshi last month sent four of their senior managers to prison for six months.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]Tanzania nationals Abel Ngoja, Marcel Kavise and Swaleh Rubaji had been arraigned before a Moshi magistrate to answer charges of assaulting a group of people who had invaded the farm last year.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]Their predicament was ironical. Several months ago, they had arrested a group of intruders who had invaded the farm and taken them to the police. But in a strange twist, they are the ones who ended up being arrested and jailed.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]In a telephone conversation with The EastAfrican from their temporary hideout at a location near Arusha town two weeks ago, Ms Hermitage described the invasion as vicious, saying that property worth millions of dollars had been destroyed — including 10 acres of French beans that were ripe and ready for export.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]“We have lost the farm. In the end, the threats to our lives, the imprisonment of our staff… was placing everyone at risk. The farm is destroyed and has now been invaded by intruders. Our aim now is to secure the release of our men. We accept that we have lost everything,” said Ms Hermitage.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]She added: “We are being sensible, but I have to say I am scared now. It is not safe to walk on the farm. There is nothing left of our operation. Everything has been stolen from the farm including the tin roofs from the field toilets... Incredibly, we were granted a right to see our men in prison. To see these fine Tanzanians walking in filth and mud and crouching before us like criminals was enough to break the strongest of spirits.”[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]What began as a dispute between partners has evolved into a major row that now threatens diplomatic relations between Tanzania and the United Kingdom.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]Last week, a British MP, Roger Gale, laid a White Paper before the UK Parliament asking for the suspension of all aid to Tanzania until a solution to the matter is found. [/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]“My constituents have lost their investment, lives have been placed in danger and, most important of all, innocent people have been imprisoned,” he said.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]Mr Gale recounted how, between 2000 and 2004, the Silverdale farm in Moshi was owned by Benjamin Mengi, whose brother is the Tanzanian media magnate Reginald Mengi.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]On May 20, 2004, the lease to the Silverdale and Mbono farms was assigned by Mengi’s company — Fiona (Tanzania) Ltd — to Silverdale Tanzania for a consideration of $112,000.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]“The money was paid in agreed instalments and formally receipted,” Mr Middleton noted, adding that Mr Mengi retained a 30 per cent shareholding with the British nationals acquiring 70 per cent.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]According to Mr Gale, signs of trouble began to show in January 2005 when Benjamin Mengi, having sold the lease once, sought to sell it for a second time to a neighbouring farmer, Konrad Legg. [/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]In April 2005, Mr Mengi applied to the courts to have the investors, Stewart Middleton and Sarah Hermitage, evicted.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]In June 2005, Mr Middleton opened police charges against Mr Mengi for forgery and conspiracy to murder. The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs was informed but the allegations were never investigated. [/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]In August 2005, Mr Middleton and his Tanzanian manager were arrested on the streets of Moshi by armed police and taken before magistrates on complaints made by Mr Mengi. The charges, which do not exist under the penal code of Tanzania, were dropped, and Mr Middleton was released. No apology was ever offered by the Tanzanian government.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]Representations were made to President Jakaya Kikwete in January 2007 by the then foreign secretary Margaret Beckett and Cherie Booth, QC, wife of former UK prime minister Tony Blair. [/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]She raised the issue with Justice Minister Mary Nagu in February 2007. [/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]Mr Gale told the House that in spite of the Herculean efforts of British High Commissioner Philip Parham, a three-year campaign of threats and harassment has been waged against the British nationals.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]He alleged that Mr Mengi, backed by local police officials, has been allowed to drive lawful investors from Tanzania in fear for their lives and for the lives of the honest, decent and hard-working Tanzanians whose livelihoods they have fought to protect.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]He argued that the case of the two British nationals was just one example of how Tanzania had mistreated British investors, citing the cases of Biwater, which was awarded a 10-year lease contract to manage the water and sewerage contract for the Dar es Salaam area.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]“City Water’s assets were seized and on June 1 three Biwater executives of City Water were summarily deported by the government of Tanzania,” said the MP.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]Responding on the government’s behalf, Meg Munn, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, said the government shared the concerns of the MP about the events that have unfolded there during the past three years or so.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]She said that Stewart Middleton and Sarah Hermitage invested in the farm in good faith, and they have suffered serious harassment in various ways. [/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]She added that since their initial investment in 2004, they and their staff have been forced to defend themselves from many criminal and civil lawsuits. [/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]“Mr Middleton has been arrested, as have the couple’s staff. Several lawsuits remain outstanding, and have been for long periods,” she added.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]Ms Munn noted that the British High Commission, particularly successive High Commissioners Dr Andrew Pocock and Philip Parham, have been and remain actively engaged with the case. [/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]“They have provided a lot of support to Mr Middleton and Ms Hermitage, and have intervened many times and lobbied the Tanzanian Government on the couple’s behalf,” Ms Munn added, pointing out that the engagement has helped to bring the situation back from the brink on several occasions.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]She disclosed that British ministers have also pursued the case at the highest levels, most recently when Lord Mark Malloch-Brown raised it with President Kikwete earlier this month during the African Union summit. [/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]As a result of those interventions, she added, there were signs of potentially helpful movement from senior members of the Tanzanian Government. [/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]“The Chief Justice is actively engaged, and has offered to mediate between the two parties in the hope of bringing the case to a just conclusion,” she added.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]Turning to the Silverdale farm case, the British minister said the controversy was an example of why it is difficult to invest in Tanzania. [/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]“It demonstrates the constraints on both the capacity and the integrity of the legal sector, which the Tanzanian authorities recognise and are trying to rectify,” she noted pointing out that the British government will continue to be engaged on the case with the aim of bringing it to a satisfactory conclusion.[/SIZE][/FONT] ​


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  14. M

    MzalendoHalisi JF-Expert Member

    #14
    Mar 3, 2008
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    Jasusi,

    Nadhani kama hali ndo ilivyo ...may be kuna dalili za rushwa ktk hii deal.. mnajua mahakama za Tz tena hupokea rushwa!

    So what next baada ya uamuzi wa mahakama kuu??

    Ni aibu kwa watu wenye pesa nyingi kama Mengi kuwaonea Wageni kwa sababu zozote!

    Sometimes I simpathize na hawa jamaa wa UK!

    So is the case conclusive??? What next?
     
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