Billionaire Mo Dewji put on notice over undeveloped farms

Tuesday February 5 2019

 

By Alex Malanga @ChiefMalanga amalanga@tz.nationmedia.com

Dodoma. The government has warned Mohamed Enterprises Tanzania Ltd (MeTL), whose majority shares are owned by Mohammed Dewji, that it will revoke ownership of its (the firm's) six farms if it (the company) fails to develop them as a matter of urgency.

The warning was made on Tuesday, February 5,2019 in Parliament by Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development minister William Lukuvi.

He said the billionaire, through MeTL,  owns 21 large farms located in various areas including, Tukuyu and Rungwe in Mbeya Region, Korogwe in Tanga and Same in Kilimanjaro.

Mr Lukuvi's statement comes barely one month since the government revoked ownership of six farms owned by Mr Dewji's MeTL in Tanga.

 "We warned Mr Dewji for his failure to develop some 12 farms. Already, we have revoked ownership of six of them and the remaining six  are under our close watch," said Mr Lukuvi

"The aim is to ensure that the land is being used productively."

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In a space of three years since President John Magufuli came to power, the government has revoked ownership of a total of 46 farms after investors failed to develop them according to the laws governing land ownership.

He said the government revoked the 46 farms after a thorough verification of a total of 2000 farms where it (the government) got convinced that they had been left undeveloped for a long time.

He said a majority of investors were using the farms as collateral for them to get loans from banks.

"We have established that investors used their farms as collateral to borrow a total of Sh1 trillion for investment somewhere else without developing their farms," noted Mr Lukuvi.