State: No landlords in airports

Julius Nyerere International Airport

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THE government yesterday announced land repossession from all companies operating within the Tanzania Airport Authority (TAA) premises, transforming the investors into tenants.

The Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Mr Atashasta Nditiye named some of the companies as Puma Aviation and Tanzania Air Services Limited, assuring them full support in their businesses as tenants.

“Be assured of full support that comes in not only because we have stayed together for decades but too investors are the government priority. This is just a prior information but we will follow all legal procedures in land recovery and it is countrywide,” the minister said during his visit to TAA.

He gave a 30-day ultimatum to the authority to evict all residents around the Julius Nyerere International Airport, saying the compensation fund had been set aside. The deputy minister said there were 59 households that voluntarily agreed to vacate but are still waiting for TAA to act. He ordered an immediate fencing of the area after eviction.

Mr Nditiye said he had visited TAA premises at Kipunguni and Kitunda where he found encroachers close to the fence, which is against both the Land Act and TAA legislation.

He thus ordered an instantaneous eviction of the encroachers without compensation because they have ignored the Land law that prohibits them from residing within the area. “The Land Act is clear... the authority also has its law which provides for 10 metres from the fence but you hardly enforce it. I want immediate action,” he told TAA management.

TAA Director General Richard Mayongela said the removal of the encroachers will start next week, noting that the land repossession process is well under progress.

He said despite the fact that there were only two companies within TAA premises in Dar es Salaam, the authority will conduct verification countrywide to satisfy itself before enforcing the repossession.

Mr Mayongela also promised to start fencing all airports as per the deputy minister’s directives to avoid unforeseen risks.

“...we have discovered that it is the authority’s weakness in protecting its land that attracts encroachers and as a result, subject the government to unnecessary compensation costs when we want to expand our airports,” conceded Mr Mayongela.

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