Challenges galore as Dodoma reclaims capital city status

What you need to know:

  • Investigations by The Citizen have established that some investors who wished to extend their investments footholds in the region have decided to withhold their plans while others are at cross- roads due failure by the government to allocate official investments areas.

Dodoma. Absence of consistent master plan is procrastinating the pace of investment and other frustrate other development projects at designated capital city of Dodoma, The Citizen can reveal.

Investigations by The Citizen have established that some investors who wished to extend their investments footholds in the region have decided to withhold their plans while others are at cross- roads due failure by the government to allocate official investments areas.

However, the government’s relocation is projected to affect some of longstanding investors in the municipality due to construction of various ministerial departments.

Some insiders within the office of Dodoma municipally tipped The Citizen that completion of the on-going construction of the Prime Ministers’ residential house at Mlimwa hill in the municipality will likely to see evacuation of some adjacent investments, included hotels and lodges.

Besides, the on-going expansion of the State’ House in Chamwino Districts has so far ordered for evacuation of most residents in the adjacent areas, together with other investments.

With at least one year now since when President John Magufuli officially announced to shift the State’s administrative headquarters from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma, the government in the region has yet to develop the Dodoma metropolis master plan.

A month after President Magufuli to declare his impetus move to Dodoma, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa picked a special team to cooperate with experts from the then Capital Development Authority (CDA) in drafting improved master plan for the capital city.

According to Mr Majaliwa, the team was scheduled for a study tour in China and Singapore to borrow skills and modern ideas in order to produce a best-modern master plan.

But before the team finalized with the task, few months thereafter, the exercise was halted when President Magufuli opted to disband CDA, on May this year, and ordered that CDA’s property and activities be moved to the Dodoma Municipal Council in a move aimed to do away with confusion in the provision of services to members of the public

The head of state also directed that all the title deeds with the limitation of 33 year ownership, which were being issued by CDA be changed to the limitation of 99 year ownership as applied in other parts of the country.

“Earlier last year we purchased at least 75 acres of land in Buigiri area from Chamwino districts council at a price of Sh120million from our own sources for the establishment of a sunflower oilseed processing cluster, but on later on, on February 8, 2016, we received a letter from Chamwino municipal office that the plot will be used by State House and thus we are supposed to evacuate,” said Mr Ringo Iringo, Chairman of the private sector in Dodoma District Business Council.

According to him, the sum for procuring the plot was accrued from owners of at least 30 different small-scale sunflower oilseed processing industries who planned to move their plants from cottage production to official industrial area.

“As of now, we are contemplating to write to the State House’ Permanent Secretary and Dodoma regional Commissioner over our concern,” he told The Citizen in an exclusive interview.

He detailed that they had already developed the 75-acres area with some crucial infrastructure, like water and unpaved roads as preliminary stages for their vast projects.

“Apart from the said letter from Chamwino municipality, we also received same notifications from Tanzania Building Agency (TBA) and some people who claimed that they were from the State’ House. But we are smelling something fishy over the matter and that’s why we have seen the need to forward the issue to upper authorities,” he added.

He underscored the need for the government to seed up the process for the drafting of the fresh master plan for the development of the designated capital city.

“Currently, prices for plots have skyrocket to the alarming tune and it is not clear as where’s are proper places for investments in the region,” he argued.

Speaking under the condition of remaining anonymous, one investors told The Citizen that he has decided to suspend his investment plans in the region till when the government will release an official master plan.

“It’s very perplexing now as I don’t know if the envisaged master plan by Dodoma municipal office will indicate the same investment areas previously indicated by CDA’ master plan. I have opted to suspend my investment plans in the region until when the new master plan will come out to give us assurance over the legal investment areas,” he said.

The former master plan by CDA, which is currently under scrutiny of Dodoma municipal office, set aside chunk land at Njedengwa and Iyumbu areas at the municipality’s outskirt for diverse investments purposes. The plan revealed that investors who wished to open an institutions at Njedengwa investment area were supposed to part with at least Sh2, 331 for a square meter.

Other charges at square meter charges in Njedengwa with their investments’ types in brackets were, Sh6, 063 per square (Maisonites), Sh13, 070 per square (Apartments), Sh18, 876 per square (commercial apartments). In additional, at Iyumbu areas, prices were set for Sh5000 per a square meter (Maisonites), 7,500 (Apartments) and Sh10, 000 per square to invest in commercial apartments.

Upon dissolved of CDA, a total of 10,000 varied investors had filled applications for investments plots within different areas in the region. The previous master plan also set aside 12,000 hectares for the development of the Government City (GC) at Ihumwa, Bwigiri and Mtumba wards in Chamwino districts.

The city, as per the then CDA’s visions was to include offices apartments, residential buildings, commercial services blocks, playing grounds, an air strip, as long as other necessary social services.

Apart from land for the government’s departments and ambassadorial city, the plan was also to ensure for abundant land to legislators, public officers and to others civil servants who will relocate from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma metropolitan.

In ensuring for availability of enough land for the government seat, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa directed the regional authority to assure each districts is setting aside enough plots to be used by the government dependents, especially those bordering Dodoma municipality. Already, more than 1,500 officials have already relocated in Dodoma in the first-two relocation schedules within a year, and it is expected that, by the end of this month (August) more officials will arrive here in the third relocation consignment.

The relocation is however faces some challenges due to acute shortage of offices apartments to roof the ministries, as most of them are current squeezing at the University of Dodoma (Udom)’s apartments while some at the Local Authority Pension Fund (LAPF) storey-structures within the municipality’s heart.

In an exclusive interview to The Citizen recently, Assistant Administrative Secretary-Infrastructure in the Office of Regional Dodoma Commissioner Mr Barnabas Mwalukasa said the processes to review the Dodoma’s master plan is at good stage and the exercise focuses ensuring for professional development of the Dodoma metropolitan.