NSSF Kijichi house buyers go to court
OUT 87 people who purchased houses at the Kijichi Project of National Social Security Fund (NSSF) have rushed to the High Court’s Land Division to seek orders relating to breach of contract terms and oppose eviction from their premises. Through legal services of Advocate Benito Mandele, the residents have lodged two cases, one relating to temporary injunctions against the NSSF Board of Trustees and Majembe Auction Mart, who are alleged to have issued the notice for eviction. The other case relate to the main suit under which the residents are seeking several reliefs, including review of contract terms of the houses, setting clear obligations of each party, review of proper price of the houses and for orders requiring the NSSF to refurbish the houses to make them fit for habitation. Parties to the case, except Majembe Auction Mart, appeared before Judge Penterine Kente, where the two cases were mentioned. The judge directed that the hearing of the application under which the residents are seeking orders of maintenance of status quo should be heard on August 24. In the meantime, the judge has ordered Advocate Mandele to ensure Majembe Auction Mart are served with court documents and appear on the hearing date and that Advocate Opio Marcels for the NSSF, should file his counter affidavit in reaction to the application before the set hearing date. The residents are claiming that they purchased their respective houses from the NSSF at its project executed at Kijichi area, Kigamboni in Temeke District on credit basis at a cost ranging between 105m/- to 130m/- payable for 15 years. Such repayments attract interests of 11.44 per cent per annum. It is alleged, however, that upon occupying the houses in question, the residents found them in sub-standard and unfit for human habitation. The residents claim that NSSF breached its contractual obligations of making sure that all necessary basic social services were available. As a result, the residents allegedly wrote to NSSF for intervention on several occasions, but no response was forthcoming. The residents, thereafter, decided to incur their own expenses to make different renovations and procurement of essential services like water, electricity and other infrastructures. It was at that point in time when the residents stopped servicing the loan for the houses, a move that aggrieved the NSSF, who in turn instructed Majembe Auction Mart to implement the eviction. Since there was a provision under the contract that in case of any dispute that could arise between the parties, they shall first take the dispute to the Tanzania Institute of Arbitrators before resorting to court action. It is stated that the residents petitioned the institute in an attempt to resolve the dispute. But the NSSF are alleged to have avoided appearing before such a quasi-judicial body. The residents had no other option, than taking the matter before the court of law for determination.