Tanzania is to revive plans for a Tsh15 trillion ($9.3 million) satellite city in Dar es Salaam, potentially disrupting the lives of close to a million people and ending five years of dithering.
Some 100,000 landowners in Kigamboni, south east of Dar es Salaam will also be relieved after the government said they will retain a 10 per cent stake in the project.
In 2008, the government announced its intention to take over 6,400 hectares of land — which was in June increased to 50,934 hectares — for construction of a new city in the area, in an effort to decongest Dar es Salaam.
But there was uncertainty over compensation of the 750,000 residents, as well as the programme’s start date following the lapse of a five-year ban on development and rehabilitation of houses.
According to the Minister for Lands, Human Settlements and Developments Anna Tibaijuka, those affected by the project will be paid Tsh141 million ($89,000) per acre as compensation, which they will use to purchase houses to be constructed at a different location.
Landowners will also use part of the compensation to purchase the promised 10 per cent stake through the yet to be established Kigamboni Development Agency Trust.
Dr Tibaijuka told The EastAfrican that the government has already signed a memorandum of understanding with two international real estate developing companies, Miworld of Dubai, which will construct 5,000 residential houses, and China Hope, which will build 15,900 houses.
The project will be implemented in phases over a period of 30 years with finances sourced from the private sector, while the government is to foot the bill for the first phase of the project costing Tsh600 billion ($373.4 million).
However, Kigamboni Member of Parliament Dr Faustine Ndugulile said much as people welcome the development, the government has been breaking the law given the secrecy surrounding its implementation.
Citing the Urban Planning Act, Dr Ndugulile said the law requires the government to convene a meeting with residents of the area targeted for development, inform them of its intentions and have them agree to it before formally making an announcement.
But the MP says the government made the announcements through newspaper adverts in October 2008 without convening any meetings with the people to be affected. He said the government further broke the law when it failed to publish in national newspapers plans for the project as prescribed by law.
Dr Ndugulileaccused Dr Tibaijuka and officials at her ministry of secrecy and the use of force in the implementation of the project. He said that the project also suffers from lack of funds, adding that since its inception five years ago, it was only last year that the ministry budgeted Tsh60 billion ($37.3 million), 10 per cent of the Tsh600 billion ($373.4 million) required to implement the first phase of the project.
According to the MP, out of the budgeted amount, the ministry received only Tsh6 billion ($3.7 million). This he said is a clear indication that the project has come to a standstill, while residents of the area have been unable to rehabilitate their houses or use them for security with financial institutions.
Dr Tibaijuka insisted that all laws and procedures had been followed and said the government is mobilising funds for the project while consultations with the people to be affected are ongoing.
“Some people fail to understand that constructing a city is a difficult and complex process that cannot happen overnight; this project will be implemented over a period of 30 years,” she said.
According to her, there have been plans to make Dar es Salaam a modern and planned city since 1979 but these were not implemented due to the poor state of the economy at the time.
But in 2008, the Kikwete regime revamped the plan and adopted it in its 2010 manifesto, choosing Kigamboni as the place to implement it.