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Sunday, October 30, 2016

TUJIKUMBUSHE: Zanzibar rejects change to Land Act!

Image result for ZANZIBAR PARLIAMENT

    By RAY NALUYAGA The East African

   Saturday, February 15   2014 
IN SUMMARY
  • The Bill sought to give access to land to Zanzibaris who have lost their citizenship by becoming citizens of other nations through inheritance in accordance with the Islamic law governing family matters in the isles.
The Zanzibar House of Representatives has rejected an amendment to the Land Tenure Act No 12 of 1992 that sought to grant right of Occupancy to non Zanzibaris.

The Bill sought to give access t
o land to Zanzibaris who have lost their citizenship by becoming citizens of other nations through inheritance in accordance with the Islamic law governing family matters in the isles.
The laws of inheritance, marriage, divorce and trust are the only legal rules that have never changed in Zanzibar after Independence in 1963 followed by the Revolution of 1964 as well as Union in the same year.
The rejection puts Zanzibar at odds with the Koran, which the Bill sought to harmonise with the Land Tenure Act.
Under the Tanzania Citizenship Act of 1995, a person automatically ceases to be a Tanzanian national if he acquires citizenship of another country.
Contrary to the existing law which says right of occupancy can only be granted to a Zanzibari, the Bill further sought to grant right of ownership to a person who lost the status of being a Zanzibari but used to own land.
According to the Act and its Regulations, the Right of Occupancy can only be granted to a Zanzibari who is 18 years and above.
Ismail Jussa, member of the Parliamentary Committee on Communication and Works that scrutinised the Bill, said the rejection was on the grounds of limits.
“We looked at the Bill and asked ourselves, what shall be the limit to this extension, because inheritance is perpetual from generation to generation,” he said.
Mr Jussa said the essence of the Bill was to grant land access to Zanzibaris by birth who lost their citizenship by acquiring citizenship of other countries, but their children who are born in those nations do not become Zanzibaris by birth but nationals of the state in which they are born.
He said under Islamic law, they are still entitled to inheritance, but under such circumstances it would be impossible to grant them rights of occupancy, an exclusive right to citizens of a state because they are not Zanzibaris.
Leasehold
Mr Jussa said although the House of Representatives rejected the Bill, it sought to give access to Zanzibaris who lost their citizenship by acquiring that of another country through a leasehold which under the existing land laws can be inherited.
He said instead of dropping the Bill altogether, the House of Representatives gave the minister powers to write regulations that favour such cases.
“For instance, the minister can grant them a much longer period of the lease at a much lower price compared with other nationals,” said Jussa.

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