Mvomero Interfaith Committee Formed
Mvomero is one of the districts in Morogoro Region where there is an increase of land based conflicts mainly between the farmers and livestock keepers (herders), who are the main users of what is termed as Village Land and General Land.
The study conducted by CCT through the department of PSEJGG has revealed that the following villages are prone to the land based conflicts: Kambala, Kigugu, Mkindo, Mbogo, Chazi, Lukenge Kisala and all villages along Mgongola Valley.
The study has also revealed that the main causes of conflicts between the livestock keepers and farmers at Mvomero districts has been the absence of a countrywide land use plan, which would indicate clearly the demarcation and utilization of every piece of land; expansion of agriculture activities and human settlements, increase of livestock and livestock keepers, low awareness amongst the stakeholders on the importance of legal ownership of land and procedures for its acquisition, lack of enough knowledge on the efficiency utilization of land, decreasing water availability and pasture due to climate change. Also the poor investments policies where investors grab the villager’s land and other argues that the land based conflict at Mvomero are influenced by political manipulations.
These conflicts have been causing deaths, destruction of crops, livestock deaths and insecurities among the community members. Also out of these conflicts there is a wide spread of weapons of different sizes and types among the farmers and livestock keepers.
The government of Tanzania has employed different mechanism in resolving the land based conflicts in Mvomero, such as educating livestock keepers on efficient ways of livestock keeping, increase availability of water grazing areas, enacting laws that will guide land use, bar livestock keepers who migrate from one district to another, and educating livestock keepers on reducing the number of their castles by selling them.
Despite of all these mechanism employed by the Government in resolving land based conflicts at Mvomero, the problem still persist and the community member are still killing each other over the land. Following this reasons, CCT through the Program of PSEJGG and Interfaith Program have intervened in Mvomero districts, to address the issue of land based conflict through the use of interfaith committee. Since there was no interfaith committee at Mvomero, the PSEJGG commenced by forming Mvomero interfaith committee on 21st July 2015, below are some of the members of Mvomero interfaith committee.
The formation of the Mvomero interfaith committee, had been followed by the training on Land laws and land Policies, conflicts resolution and mitigation. Later the interfaith committee was tasked to address the issue of land based conflicts at Mvomero. This workshop took off by an opening remark from Bishop Jacob Mameo, ELCT Diocesese of Morogoro. The Bishop testified how the land based conflict at Kambala village had led to death of many people including his own father. He further continued with narrations that a lot of people are dying due to land based conflicts; despite the fact that the statistics are unreported, and if reported they are usually distorted. Bishop Mameo had declared his interest that ,he is a livestock keeper but, he is not in the workshop to safeguard his interests but to join hand in resolving the land based conflicts as a stakeholder.
I am not happy seeing people killing each other, and I will always show collaboration to whoever champion for peace in this districts. Said Bishop Mameo
The training was conducted by CCT Director of Administration and human resource management, Mr John Mapesa and PSEJGG program Officers Ms Beatrice Dengenesa(Adv) for two days.
All laws governing the land laws were elaborated, explained and interpreted to the members however the land policy of 1995, the land Act of 1999 and The Village land Act of 1999 were the main laws that were elaborated in depth. The discussion had revealed that the laws are clear but ignorance of the law and presence of corrupt village leaders have contributed to the land based conflicts.
Different modes were used in imparting the knowledge to the workshop participants, such as sharing of experiences of Mvomero districts over land based conflicts, testimonies from the indigenous as well as question discussed in group discussions