Urban landlordism and the acquisition of building act

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Dar es Salaam
The dissertation discusses the endeavours being made by the party and government since the attainment of independence to curb the excesses of urban landlordism culminating in the nationalism of big urban real estates under the acquisition of building Act, 1971. As the achievement of such objective depends on the nature of the class in control of state power, the role of the state as well as the character of the ruling class in Tanzania are discussed. In order to discern the ruling class in Tanzania, discussion of the class content of the party becomes essential. It is noted that although the ideology of the party is avowedly socialist, party leadership is petty bourgeois. A workers party is yet to be created. In order to facilitate a clear understanding of the nature of urban landlordism and its evils, the growth of urban centres is discussed as well as land tenure policies. The factors responsible for rapid urban growth are discussed. Also discussed are the factors that have influenced the provision of urban amenities. These have been the colonial land tenure policies which denied security of tenure to majority of urban dwellers; racial segregation and the stunting of the economic advancement of the indigenous people. These factors are responsible for the fact that an overwhelming majority of urban dwellers have been unable to put up permanent decent dwellings. Only a few urban dwellers-mainly immigrant communities-have been able to erect permanent buildings. These confined themselves to expensive dwellings which are beyond reach of the majority of urban dwellers. Consequently there has been an acute shortage of accommodation which has facilitated overcharging of tenate by landlords. The rent control legislation has failed to curb the excesses of urban landlords. The acquisition of buildings is a progressive measure in so far as it appears to embody the concept of the socialisation of urban dwellings. This concept, however, has not been carried out to its logical conclusion. The provisions of the Act are limited to a tiny fraction of the urban housing stock: so that even after acquisition the majority of urban dwellers are tenate of private landlords and the economic oppression continues. The housing problem is getting worse instead of improving because the governments housing policy hinges on mortgage finance. This can solve the housing problem of only the petty bourgeoisie. Other aspects of the housing policy also tend to benefit only the petty bourgeoisie. It is thus incapable of leading to the solution of the housing problem. It is suggested that the housing problem can only be solved by mass production of housing by the public sector under a planned economy. In other words, the housing problem cannot be successfully tackled in isolation of the whole socio-economic order. It can only be solved when there has been socialist transformation of the economy. Such a task can only be successfully undertaken and implemented by a worker’s party imbued with a Marxist understanding of the tasks before it. However, in spite of Tanzania’s avowal of socialism as her goal, a revolutionary working class party is yet to be created. It is suggested that in order that socialist construction may be realised, the party must be transformed into a worker’s party. This must accompanied by debureaucrasation, politicisation and close political control and guidance of the state administrative machinery.
Available in print form, EAF Collection, Dr Wilbert Chagula Library,(THS EAF KRD M845)
Tanzania, Landlord and tenant, Law and legislation, Land tenure
Mwita, Donasian M (1978) Urban landlordism and the acquisition of building act, Masters Dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam