Tribunal reverses order on NICO property in Mwanza

  Says claimant lied suit premises worth 30m/-, against 8bn/- value
The District Land and Housing Tribunal here has reversed an order it issued in favour of three people to possess the premises of the Tanzania Fisheries Development Company Limited (NICO).

The three ordered to hand over the premises to Constantine Mbena the care-taker are Joyce Nyanza, Joseph Matanga Kalungwa and Jackson Manji.

The Tribunal reversed the earlier order after it was discovered that the claimant had lied to the Tribunal that the suit premises have a value of 30m/- which was within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal to rule on.

It was also established by the Tribunal that the claimant did not disclose in the affidavit supporting the application that there was a pending case in the High Court, Commercial Division on the same subject matter.

Nyanza, Kalungwa and Manji posing as care takers of the Tanzania Fisheries Development Company Limited (NICO) had filed an application (Application No 58 of 2014) in the Tribunal seeking an order to unlock the main gate of the fisheries industry and hand it over to them.

In the application they claimed that the suit premises which is a fisheries industry was an office whose value does not exceed 30m/-. District Land and Housing Tribunals have powers to deal with matters whose values do not exceed 50m/.

The Tribunal believing the application to be true as to the value of the subject matter granted the orders on April 9, this year and set April 24 this year as mention date for the pending main case.

The order of the Tribunal was executed on April 16 by unlocking the gates of the industry premises and letting the three to take over the operation of the industry.

However, when the case came for mention on April 24, the lawyer for the respondent Constantine Mutalemwa told the Tribunal that the suit premises is an industry whose value surpasses by far the powers of the Tribunal to deal with .
Mutalemwa said that the value of the suit premises is over 8bn/- and that the applicant had deliberately undervalued it to cheat the Tribunal.

Mutalemwa also said that the applicant did not disclose in the affidavit supporting the application the pending case in the High Court (Commercial Division) No. 4 of 2012 in Dar es Salaam on the same subject matter.

This prompted the Chairman of the Tribunal James Sillas to visit the suit premises at Ilemela to establish whether it is an office as claimed by the claimant or an industry.

The visit proved that the suit premises is actually an industry and not an office as claimed in the affidavit of Joyce Nyanza.

Sills said that the site visit has enabled his tribunal to discover that the information contained in the affidavit is false and that according to the law an affidavit which is tainted with untruth cannot be relied upon to support the application.

Basing on the circumstances the chairman vacated the order he issued on April 9, this year which gave the applicant the right to enter the premises. He ordered their removal and hand-over of the premises to Constantine Mbena who was the care taker before it was erroneously given to the applicant.

The chairman also advised the parties to pursue their rights in the High Court (Commercial Division) in Dar es Salaam.

Joyce and her colleagues had promised to hand over the industry premises to the care taker on April 30, this year but did not turn up, claiming that they were on safari.

They instead promised to make it good on May 2, but again did not show up.
The court broker had to unlock the premises and hand them over to Mbena in the presence of local government officials after the applicant went missing.

Speaking to reporters after the handover of the premises NICO Director Leo Akonay said the value of the industry stood at 8bn/- and not 30m/- as claimed by the applicant.