Background:

The case concerns a dispute which initially arose sometime in 2012, regarding ownership and

usage of the land which boarders the Serengeti National Park on the West. Although it was

temporarily resolved in the Applicants’ favour by the former Prime Minister, Honourable

Mizengo Peter Pinda, tensions arose again sometime in August 2017 when village residents

received correspondence from agents of the Respondent ordering them to vacate land that

was legally registered by statute and legally theirs. This was followed by agents of the

Respondent forcefully driving them away from their residence. This was done through the

excessive use of violence which included the forceful removal of livestock and burning of their

homesteads.

About the Case

:

PALU on behalf of four Village Councils namely: Ololosokwan Village Council, Oloirien Village

Council, Kirtalo Village Council and Arashi Village Council (the Applicants) filed a case before

the East African Court of Justice (EACJ). The case registered as Reference No 10 of 2017 vs

The United Republic of Tanzania (Respondent) was filed on 21 September 2017. The Applicants are villages located in the Ngorongoro District, on land bordering the Serengeti National Park. The Applicants alleged that the Respondent’s actions are a direct contravention of Article 6(d) and 7(2) of the EAC Treaty, Article 15(1) of the Protocol on the Establishment of the EAC Common Market, Article 14 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, Village Land Act, 1999 and the Wildlife Conservation Act, 2009. Separately, the Applicants also filed Application 15 of 2017 seeking interim orders pending hearing and determination of the Reference No 10 of 2017. The Applicants sought orders to restrain and prohibit the Respondent from evicting residents from the disputed land, confiscating their livestock, burning their homesteads, and subjecting them to severe beatings. In its Ruling of 25 September 2018, the EACJ issued Orders which included explicit directions:

a) That the Respondent and any persons or offices acting on his behalf, cease and desist

from evicting the Applicants’ residents from the disputed land, being the land comprised in the 1500 sq. Km of land bordering the Serengeti National Park; destroying their homesteads or confiscating their livestock on that land, until the determination of Reference No. 10 of 2017;

b) That the Office of the Inspector General of Police restrains from harassing or intimidating the Applicants in relation to Reference No. 10 of 2017 pending the determination thereof.

 

 

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