By BILHAM KIMATI, 13th July 2010 @ 16:00, Total Comments: 0, Hits: 5 A PROBE team formed last month by the Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner, Mr William Lukuvi, has discovered that 104 open space plots out of 154 surveyed sites were illegally occupied. The team has discovered that indiscriminate change of land use plans in Dar es Salaam could not have been possible without the patronage of dishonest land officials, some known to have issued land occupancy documents to family members. Presenting the report to the RC at his office yesterday, the team leader, Ms Albina Burra, said Kinondoni was notorious in open space grabbing whereby 88 out of 110 open space sites visited in the municipality were taken for different use. "I commend the team because within 25 days of intense probe from June 18 to (yesterday) July 13, it probed the matter and compiled this thick report with proposals that will be used to redress the situation," Mr Lukuvi said. The team drew its members from the police force, the army, prisons, land officers, city planning office and academics. The first step towards restoration of the snatched land, said Lukuvi, would be to hold an urgent meeting with members of the regional security and defence committee prior to legal and disciplinary action against people behind the racket. "This is the first report ever that is seriously addressing land problems in Dar es Salaam. I am not surprised to hear that land grabbing is rampant in Kinondoni. But one thing for sure is that both legal and disciplinary measures will be taken against all culprits," the RC pledged. After learning about massive cheating and double allocation of land in Kinondoni early last month, the regional commissioner formed two separate probe teams. The first surveyed the three municipalities of Dar es Salaam -- Temeke, Ilala and Kinondoni -- and finally presented the report yesterday. The second team of inquiry was assigned with the duty to gather information from office files in municipal land department to uncover tricks involved in changing land use and ownership. The team is also scheduled to present its report today. Sources from within the team revealed that indiscriminate forgery of signatures and forged stamps facilitated the illegal occupation of land. "Some of these places have been turned into department stores gradually taken under the pretext of being a political party project, some with guest houses, filling stations and local markets," the source revealed. It was further learnt that among the recommendations, was immediate demolition of structures coupled with legal measures against 'owners' together with land officials who assisted on the cheat. Previously, the Special Zone Police Commander, Mr Suleiman Kova, had said that police in Dar es Salaam had interrogated a dozen of people in connection with the land fraud in Kinondoni Municipal Council. He said that more people were lined up for questioning, but declined to disclose the number, adding that the suspects would be prosecuted after completion of investigations. It all started when Mr Lukuvi suspended Kinondoni Municipal Land Officer, Mr Magesa Magesa together with 16 other officials to facilitate investigations on land related fraud. Five Kinondoni Municipal councillors including the Municipal Mayor, Mr Salum Londa, together with the Municipal Director, Mr Noel Mahenga, were also nabbed in connection with the scam. Other councillors already questioned by the police include Mr Eliachim Magafu (Manzese ward), Mr Rajab Suleiman Hassan (Makurumla) and Salum Mwaking'inda (Sinza). Kinondoni Municipality has repeatedly been accused of issuing dubious land ownership permits including reserved open space. Daily News | Dar es Salaam uncovers massive land use violation MY TAKE Good news big up RC for the good job you are undertaking make sure all the structures on open spaces are demolished and culprits fell behind the bars!