Publish the Council’S Master Plan Online with Details Information of All Land Uses, Planned Areas, Unplanned Areas and Open Spaces by July 2017 (KIG0001)
Action Plan: Kigoma, Tanzania Action Plan
Action Plan Cycle: 2017
Lead Institution: Department of Urban Planning, Land and Natural Resources
Support Institution(s): Government Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Ministry of Regional Administration and Local Government Civil Society, Private Sector KIUNGONET KIOO NYAKITONTO Youth for Development Hove Without Border Neighbours Without Borders Kigoma Ujiji TOSHANEWORK Promotion and Women Development MWOCACHI KIWOHEDE The Hope of Young Generation Kigoma Development Initiative (KDI) Members of Media Religious Leaders
Policy AreasE-Government, Fiscal Transparency, Land & Spatial Planning, Subnational
Issue to be addressed: Land is a very important resource for residents of Kigoma Ujiji and Tanzanians in general because of its scarcity. Kigoma Municipal Council officials spend a lot of time and financial resources in dealing with land conflicts. Time and finance spent in resolving land conflicts might have been used in other development activities to improve standard of lives of its residents. One of the key factors observed that contribute by large percentage is lack of transparency and openness in handling issues pertaining to land. Kigoma Ujiji Municipal Council decided to deal with to a minimum range this kind of conflicts by ensure fair, equitable and efficient governance of land matters and to reduce the potential for land conflicts. Primary objective: Transparency on land issues to ensure fair, equitable and efficient governance of land matters and to reduce land conflicts, have in place data for revenue collection and future Municipal development. Short description: To prepare and have accessible online Municipal land use plan (with detailed information of all demarcated and titled land, unoccupied land and open spaces available for public use, reduce land conflicts as a results of information not being known, Municipal to have correct data for revenue collection/management and to have proper future plan for Municipal development. OGP challenge: Having accessible online Land Use Plan in place, member of the public will have access to information on all matters as far as land is concerned. Openness to information will activate accountability of individual to public. Member of the public will have a courage to question their leaders/officials on use or allocation made to a certain plot if found its use has been changed. Citizens will be in a position to make public officials to take their responsibilities according to the laws (civic participation). Posting and being able to access information online at the time of an individual, it paves ways for complete openness and accountability.
IRM End of Term Status Summary
1. Land Transparency
Publish the Council’s Master Plan online with details [about]information of all Land uses, Planned areas, Unplanned areas and Open spaces by July 2017.
Transparency on land issues to ensure fair, equitable and efficient governance of land matters and to reduce land conflicts, have in place data for revenue collection and future Municipal development.
The main objective is to prepare and have accessible online Municipal land use plan (with detailed information of all demarcated and titled land, unoccupied land and open spaces available for public use, reduce land conflicts as a results of information not being known, Municipal to have correct data for revenue collection/management and to have proper future plan for Municipal development.
1.1. Publish the council’s General Planning Scheme (Land use Plan) online for public use on January 2017
1.2. Publish information on all measured and land titles issued, placed on the website of the Municipality for public use quarterly
1.3. Publish information on unoccupied spaces in the Municipality for public use quarterly
Overall Objective & Relevance
Land has been a source of conflict in Kigoma Ujiji due to its scarcity and the lack of transparency and accountability on land management. Currently, citizens must go through a complex and cumbersome process through the Municipal Land Department to purchase and legally register their land, including searching for ownership and identifying the status and price of a given plot of land, which can only be accessed through a formal written request to the Municipal Land Department. Despite the existence of a national Access to Information Act, Available at: http://parliament.go.tz/polis/uploads/bills/1466686784-A%20BILL%20-THE%20ACCESS%20TO%20INFORMATION%20ACT,%202015%20(2)%20(FOR%20PRINTING).pdf. the Municipal Council has faced challenges in enforcing the Act, as no guidelines are in place for its implementation. Additionally, Kigoma residents have held demonstrations protesting long standing land disputes and CSOs have denounced corrupt practices in the Municipal Land Department (including cases of double allocation and illegal allocation of land). There has not been a lot of documentation of the land conflicts in Kigoma except for a few media reports including: http://www.ippmedia.com/sw/minister-lands-welcomed-protest-kigoma-region. This claim was however raised numerous times during the IRM researcher's meeting with the NGO; Kigoma Development Initiative and confirmed during a meeting with the Council Senior Management team including the Lands Officer. Poor accountability on land management in Kigoma has also contributed to inequality as only a few people with access to the Municipal Land Department are able to claim their own land. This provides an incentive for those working in the Land Department to use the lack of information to pursue illegal sale of land in the municipality.
In light of these issues, this commitment aims to promote transparency on land issues and ensure fair and efficient governance of land by publishing online (1) the Council’s General Planning Scheme (Land use Plan), (2) information on all land titles issued, and (3) information on unoccupied spaces in the Municipality for public use. The commitment is relevant to the OGP value of access to information as it plans to reduce potential obstacles for accessing information that was previously difficult to obtain by publishing it online. As citizens increasingly gain access to information on the allocation and the ownership of land they would be able to credibly demand accountability for the same. The information offers citizens new tools, which they use to enforce accountability from their leaders involved in land governance. However, although this commitment could significantly strengthen the ability of citizens to hold their leaders including those responsible for land governance to account, it does not explicitly call for the creation of a mechanism that calls on government members to justify their actions or respond to citizens’ feedback.
Specificity and Potential Impact
The IRM researcher considers this commitment to be of medium specificity. It contains verifiable activities that involve the publication of information on land titles and indicates broad timelines when such publication is expected. However, it does not provide a roadmap to detail the process through which the information will be published, including how it will be verified. It also lacks specificity with regards to the format in which it would be published and the way this information would be accessed by citizens.
The intended results are a transparent and accessible land use plan and land use database that provides credible information on land allocation across the municipality. The intended beneficiaries are two pronged; citizens will be able to obtain credible information on land allocation, and the increased transparency will help the Municipal Council collect revenue on land ownership.
The fulfillment of the commitment and its milestones could contribute to significantly reducing land conflicts in the municipality. By disclosing information on available land, land use plans, and land allocation, corruption in the lands sector could be significantly reduced and the cost of accessing land for many citizens could decline as such information is made available online. Also, greater access to land information could contribute significantly to the economic empowerment of the citizens of Kigoma Ujiji, as many depend on their land for other economic activities including accessing much needed credit from financial institutions. This could represent an important government culture shift, considering that publishing this type of information is not the standard government practice. In light of these potential advances, the IRM researcher believes that this commitment could have a potentially transformative impact on access to land information in Kigoma Ujiji. However, it is important to state that its success is also dependent on the quality of the information being published, as well as the government’s capacity to respond to the possible surge in citizen complaints. Additionally, the exclusive focus on online publication, though an improvement to the status quo, might not reach as many citizens in Kigoma as possible, due to low levels of internet penetration in the region.
Implementation of this commitment was not started. The Kigoma Ujiji Mayor informed the IRM researcher that this commitment was delayed because the Council’s Master Plan was not developed in time, which would have laid out the framework for the three milestones to be achieved. Various factors prevented the development of the Master Plan. First, the incumbent Land Officer left office in 2015, and the position was not filled until September 2017. The hiring process for the new Land Officer is done at the national level and the Council had to wait for this position to be appointed by the responsible Ministry of Land, Housing and Human Settlements. In the absence of the Land Officer, it was impossible to develop and approve the Master Plan. In another event, the land registry office was affected by a fire outbreak in 2015, which resulted the loss of important records. Since then, the Land Department has worked towards replenishment its records, some of which are being obtained from the Ministry. This has mainly affected the Council’s ability to gather information on land ownership in Kigoma Ujiji.
Civil society leaders on land transparency (i.e. the Kigoma Development Initiative) confirmed that very limited progress has been attained with this commitment. In an interview with the IRM researcher, the Executive Director of Kigoma Development Initiative explained that there has been attempts to digitize the Council’s Master Plan. However, these had been unsuccessful in the absence of an approved plan in the first place. A detailed Land Master Plan was submitted to the Council for approval in November 2017 in order to continue with the implementation of the commitment. However, the Mayor informed the IRM researcher that full Council approval only came in July 2018 and has since been submitted to the regional office and Ministry of Land for endorsement.
Early results: did it open government?
Access to information: No change
Between January and December 2017, this commitment aimed to improve transparency in the management of land in Kigoma Ujiji by allowing citizens to access more reliable information on land. The commitment was likely to have a transformative effect on the minimal access to information on land that existed prior to the action plan. However, the commitment was not started due to unprecedented delays in the development of the Council’s Master Plan, which resulted from the lack of relevant staff at the Municipal Land Department. As such, there is no evidence of changing government behavior to enhance transparency and accountability in the management of land.
Given that a new Land Officer was appointed (in September 2017), it is imperative that the Municipal Council puts more energy towards publishing the Council’s Master Plan, which was approved in July 2018. The publication of the plan should go hand in hand with the disclosure of the land use plan, information on unoccupied spaces, open spaces, and all surveyed land and land titles. To achieve this, the Municipal Council will need to work closely with the Ministry for Land, Housing and Human Settlements, along with non-state actors like the Cadastre Foundation and Kigoma Development Initiative who are active in these issues.
Kigoma-Ujiji, Tanzania's Commitments
Publish the Council’S Master Plan Online with Details Information of All Land Uses, Planned Areas, Unplanned Areas and Open Spaces by July 2017
KIG0001, 2017, E-Government
Disclose Information on the Receipt of Funds, Medicines and Medical Supplies, Distribution of Medicines, Medical Supplies and Patients Treated on the Website of the Municipality July 2017
KIG0002, 2017, Audits and Controls
Posting Education Sector Data and Receipts of Free Education Fund Online by July 2017
KIG0003, 2017, E-Government
Information on Water Services, Sewerage, Water Sources and Sewage Ponds Available for Public Access and Use by July 2017.
KIG0004, 2017, E-Government
To Make Budget Data (Five Key Budget Reports) and Quarterly Audit Committee Reports Accessible Online Each Year.
KIG0005, 2017, E-Government