Machame Cooperatives contest timber clearance
Tuesday August 23, 2011
From PETER TEMBA in Moshi, 22nd August 2011
CHAIRMEN of Kyeeri, Uswaa and Mamba Cooperative Societies in
Machame area in Hai district have written a joint letter to the Attorney
General, contesting an order to withdraw a clearance of timber which was harvested from the societys' farms. "There is now a dispute over harvested timber held at Bomang'ombe Police Station. The subject timber was harvested from and belongs to the Societies.
We understand Benjamin Abraham Mengi is now masquerading as owner thereof and, in fact, your Chambers has issued clearance for their delivery to him.
The Societies strongly object to their release to Mr Mengi and wish to
rescind the order," reads the letter.
Mr Mengi, a Principal shareholder of Fiona (Tanzania) Limited, and the
three Societies, have a chequered history of disputes between them after the Societies leased Silverdale and Mbono Farms covering an area of 933.1 acres to Fiona, on January 1, 1999. However, on February 5, 2010, the Societies issued a notice of termination of lease agreement over Silverdale and Mbono farms, with certificate of right of occupancies C.T. No 1412 (767 acres), C.T No 11540 (50 acres), C.T. No 9640 (52.4 acres), C.T. No 9527 (39.4 acres), C.T. No 9377 (28.4 acres), C.T. No 9570 (25.4 acres) and C.T. No 9460 (30.5 acres).
The Notice says the termination of the lease was due to fundamental
breaches of the agreement that included non payment of rent due between 2005 and 2009 amounting to or estimated at 87.5m/- plus arrears of the rent in the sum of 3.2m/- as at 2004, excluding interests and devaluation. Non compliance with the development plan of reviving and development of coffee, unauthorized creation of facilities for cattle rearing and breeding as well as failure to formalize a compulsorily registered lease of land were other reasons for termination of the agreement.
Mengi has filed another case alleging that some officials from the three Societies committed a criminal trespass when they entered Silverdale Farm which he claims is his property.
The suspects, who appeared before the court here on August 9, were Denis Swai, Wilson Kundael, Salat Kweka, Wilfred Lema and Michael Mushi.
The case will be mentioned again on September 8.