Datoga win Vilima Vitatu land case
By our Babati Correspondent
Pastoralists of Datoga community of Vilima Vitatu Village in Babati District, Manyara Region have called on the Government to oversee the execution of the court ruling which has reinstated them to resettle on their land allocated to a French investor, Un Lodge En Afrique (ULEA).
Speaking with reporters last week, the pastoralists said despite that they have won their case against the Vilima Vitatu Village Council and the Burunge Wildlife Management Area in the Court of Appeal, they were still restrained to graze and settle on that the land.
The panel of Judges of the Court of Appeal, Justice January Msofe, Justice Sauda Mjasiri and Justice Ibrahim Juma in their ruling of Civil Appeal Number 77 of 2012, ruled in favour of the 17 villagers in the case filed in 2008.
Women of the Datoga community of Maromboi village at a public meeting calling for the
government intervention to have their land issue solved. (Photo by a Correspondent).
In the dispute, the pastoralists objected being removed from their settlement and contested an order restraining them from grazing on the land after the Vilima Vitatu Village Council had allocated the piece of land measuring 45 acres to the investor to establish a lodge in the wildlife management area.
Udaghwenga Baya said that despite the High Court ruling they were still being subjected to ‘arrest and thrashing’ whenever their livestock entered the area under dispute.
Giamu Marish said that after the court ruling they expected that the villagers would have sat together with the village council so as to resolve how they could peacefully live in the Maramboi Sub-village instead of being bullied.
Commenting on the Court ruling, the Vilima Vitatu Chairman, Mr. Erasto Belela said that although the pastoralists have won the case, basically what had made them to win the case was the fact that they were not involved in the deliberation of land allocation. He said they have filed an application for the court to revise the ruling.
However, he added that the Village Council has the mandate of land use plan.