Mozambique: Parliamentarians want prisons moved away from central Maputo
FILE - Illustrative photo. [File photo: Lusa]
The Mozambican non-governmental organisation (NGO) Centro Terra Viva has launched proceedings to clarify the government allocation of 12,000 hectares of land to a public entity in Palma district, Cabo Delgado, without public consultation.
“This news is a cause of extreme concern and apprehension because it raises fears of a great potential for illegalities in the allocation process of such a large extension of land as it is the case,” Alda Salomão, founder and legal advisor of the Centro Terra Viva (CTV), which works in the environmental area, told Lusa on Tuesday.
Salomão said that her organisation had taken steps with the National Directorate of Land (DNT) to obtain information about when and how the community consultation was carried out and if it was done correctly, taking into account that many families have left Palma in the northern part of the country, due to attacks by armed groups in the region.
“The specificity and complexity of Palma district, due to insecurity, raises questions about the legality of granting the Right to Use and Enjoy Land [DUAT] of 12,000 hectares,” she noted.
A land plot of that size, she added, affects “pre-existing rights” and its expropriation requires a broad public consultation aimed at protecting legitimate interests that predate the new provisional DUAT holder.
“It must become clear that the [land] expropriation, if applicable, gave rise to fair compensation for pre-existing rights,” she emphasised.
On the other hand, the government must specify the provisional DUAT’s area to ensure that interested parties can protect their rights.
Alda Salomão said that, for the time being, the government enjoys”the benefit of the doubt about the process, but it must swiftly clarify the case, responding to the concerns of civil society”.
On Monday, Mozambican NGO Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) accused the Mozambican government of agovernment12,000 hectares of land to the Cabo Delgado Economic Development Promotion Centre, “an unknown public entity”, without consulting the communities, in Palma,“taking advantage of the conflict and the absence of communities in Palma”.
“In a context of conflict affecting northern Cabo Delgado, the government approved the request for allocation of 12,000 hectares of land located in Palma in favour of the Cabo Delgado Economic Development Promotion Centre (CPD), an unknown public entity created in May 2021 and whose attributions and competences are confused with the mandate of the Integrated Development Agency of the North (ADIN),” said a statement issued on Monday (23) by the non-governmental organisation (NGO)” an analysis by the NGO said.
Several studies point to land expropriation as one of the causes that led to violent extremism in Cabo Delgado, the analysis notes.
Lusa could not hear any of the entities that were the targets of the CDD’s accusations.
Cabo Delgado province is rich in natural gas but has been terrorised since 2017 by armed rebels, with some attacks claimed by the extremist group Islamic State.
There are 784,000 internally displaced people due to the conflict, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and around 4,000 deaths, according to the ACLED conflict registration project.
Since July 2021, an offensive by government troops, with support from Rwanda and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), has allowed areas where there was a rebel presence to recover.