Chiamaka Ihekwoaba

Chiamaka Ihekwoaba

Air Tanzania Dash 8-400 seized for a two decade dispute

Two decades after an unsettled land dispute, one of Air Tanzania’s new Bombardier aircraft has been impounded in Canada. This was disclosed by Tanzania’s foreign ministry who noted that the national carriers latest De Havilland Dash 8-400 was seized before its delivery flight to the carrier’s base. This is the second time an Air Tanzania aircraft has been impounded over the issue.

Canadian authorities impounding of the Bombardier Q400 plane is said to be directly related to a dispute between Tanzania and a South African farmer who is seeking compensation for land he says was taken off him 40 years ago, Foreign Affairs Minister Palamagamba Kabudi said. 

According to the Minister, “the person responsible for this is the same person who forced our plane to be seized in South Africa. We went to court and won the case.” This was after the Tanzanian government successfully appealed the case in South Africa and the plane was released.

“I summoned Canada’s high commissioner yesterday and told her unequivocally … that the Tanzanian government has been disappointed and angered by the move,” Tanzania’s foreign affairs minister Palamagamba Kabudi said at a swearing-in ceremony in the capital Dodoma for the country’s new ambassadors.

The minister said Tanzania had hired lawyers in Canada to defend it against the action, noting it was from the same individual who filed a lawsuit in a South African court claiming he was owed compensation by the government.