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Land as a Human Right

A History of Land Law and Practice in Tanzania

Abdon Rwegasira

Publication Year: 2012

Wherever there is a personís right, there is a corresponding duty imposed upon that person to respect the rights of others. This co-existence of rights and duties may be explained better by the principle of reciprocity of rights and duties. Such is the basis of Land as as Human Right: A History of Land Law and Practice in Tanzania. The esteemed author documents Tanzanian land law along its line of historical development (pre- and post-independence) whereby the thorny issues about ìrightsî and ìdutiesî of the landed, landless and the intermediaries are elucidated. This volume is not limited to events in Tanzania, but includes jurisprudence of land law of other countries in order to tap some interpretative devices of our own by way of analogies. Various case types- reported and unreported, local and foreign- provide a tangible content to what would otherwise be pure theory. He also makes references to local newspapers as a way of tapping the public responses about land-related matters. His survey of such cases in and outside Tanzania led automatically to judgments touching on womenís right to matrimonial property and inheritance; individual and collective rights to land; and the right to land of the indigenous peoples. It is the authorís view that land law has remained poorly documented in Tanzania. There is plenty of literature about Land Law, yet these sources are not easily available or even accessible to every interested person. Equally, some of the available literature is so old that it may not always depict land law and/or practice as we tend to understand it today. This volume is a comprehensive text on land law in which all the necessary land law principles are highlighted with great precision. Advocate Rwegasira does this with a human rights approach, believing that it is through this approach that a personís right to land, whether individual or collective can best be explained, especially in this era when conflict over land is unabatedly becoming central in family, communal and societal relations. The language of human rights is for all of us to speak. It follows, therefore, that practitioners both of the bar and the bench will also find it useful for quick reference, much as will do policy makers, law reformers and the general public in and outside Tanzania.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title page

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Copyright page

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pp. v-viii


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pp. ix

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pp. x

An academic work does not always carry a Foreword. The reason being that the author would already have a considerable number of publications in professional journals to his credit before being published in book form. He would be fairly well known and would not, therefore, require a senior academic to introduce him and his work. ...

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pp. xi-xii

Given the focus of the book, “Land as a Human Right: A History of Land Law and Practice in Tanzania,” it is encouraging to state, at the outset, that the use of the language of human rights to address various land issues (particularly acquisition, occupancy, and transfer of land) is a developing jurisprudence not only in Tanzania, but also at the international level. ...

Abbreviations and Acronyms

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pp. xiii-xvi

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pp. xvii-xxvi

No idea comes from nothing. The idea to write and the choice of the subject matter in this work: Land as a Human Right: A History of Land Law and Practice in Tanzania, was triggered by my own understanding and belief that Human Rights, as a discipline, pervades all aspects of life at all levels of human society. ...

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Chapter One - Human Rights Movement and the Right to Land in Tanzania

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pp. 1-42

It is my understanding that the word discourse is simply used to connote a certain way of thinking and explaining things, feelings or actions. Therefore, as I undertake to talk about the political discourse over the right to land, I dare to record not only how political thinkers have philosophically and historically linked the individual person ...

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Chapter Two - Land Law Reforms and Tenure Systems in Tanzania

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pp. 43-92

Before going into a long discussion on the historical developments that gave rise to various tenure systems and land law reforms in Tanzania, it may be worthwhile to bring the readers’ attention to the basic concepts, that is: land, land tenure and land law reform. ...

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Chapter Three - Land Delivery Systems: The Acquisition of Land

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pp. 93-132

The discussion on land delivery system, in this chapter centres on the processes involved in accessing land in Tanzania. The topic covers one main area, namely the acquisition of land, and answers the basic question: How does a person, who is in need of land get it? ...

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Chapter Four - Land Delivery Systems: Disposition of Land or Interests in Land

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pp. 133-208

This chapter discusses the process involved in the disposition or transfer of interest in land. Although the definition of disposition is very broad under the Land Act,554 the discussion in the chapter is confined to a few forms of disposition, namely, sale, lease and mortgage. ...

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Chapter Five - Succession and the Law of Inheritance in Tanzania

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pp. 209-252

This topic covers one of the most controversial areas of land administration in Tanzania since it answers the difficult, but relevant question: what should be done with a person’s estate when he or she dies? James and Fimbo observe that this is a question which can never be avoided in any system of law.843 ...

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Chapter Six - Women and the Right to Land in Tanzania

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pp. 253-282

The question of women’s right to property, including in this sense landed property, is very old and of an international character. Whoever undertakes to discuss it successfully, therefore, is advised to have, in the first place, a reflection over the above quote from the Scripture. ...

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Chapter Seven - The Right to Land of the Indigenous Minorities in Tanzania

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pp. 283-304

The right to land of the indigenous minorities in Tanzania has been reasonably written on and succinctly addressed by resource persons of academia.1057 My limited contribution in this book is simply to add my own voice to their work through a different style of presentation in terms of form and content,

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Chapter Eight - The Right to Compensation

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pp. 305-322

Of all the rights that accrue from the right of occupancy (including any derivative right thereof), the right to compensation in Tanzania appears to be a thorn in land administration. Let it be on record that the right to compensation has a long history both in the international law, and national law jurisprudence. ...

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Chapter Nine - Land Disputes, Litigation and the Role of Courts in Tanzania

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pp. 323-362

The term dispute can simply be defined to mean a disagreement on a point of law or fact or a conflict of legal view or interest. It was once stated by the International Court of Jutice that in order to establish the existence of a dispute, “it must be shown that the claim of one party is positively opposed by the other”.1149 ...

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pp. 363-370

We have carefully followed the land law of Tanzania along its line of historical development. All what we have discussed from the first page of the book to the last one brings us to the conclusion that all Tanzanians are, now, placed in a better position to realise their right to land compared to when they were subjected to the law ...


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pp. 371-386

List of Cases

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pp. 387-402


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pp. 403-412

Back cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9789987082087
Print-ISBN-13: 9789987081523

Page Count: 440
Publication Year: 2012