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Mon, 12 Aug 2019 13:48 - Updated Mon, 12 Aug 2019 13:48

Mozambique: Land titles preserve your rights, says Nyusi

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi said on Saturday that the distribution of land titles (known as DUATs) is intended to protect the rights of the rural population, and to avoid conflicts in which their ancestral lands are often seized from them.

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He was speaking in Rapale district, in the northern province of Nampula, during a ceremony at which DUATs were distributed under the “Terra Segura” (“Secure Land”) project he had launched in 2015.

“Yesterday it was the land where we were born, and where we grew up, but then along comes some clever chap and claims the land was his”, said Nyusi. “But with this instrument the DUAT), which we have just distributed today, nobody is going to take the land away from you”.

He explained that through the “Terra Segura” project the government intends to improve the ordered planning of the territory. But each citizen would be responsible for the land to which he or she holds the title, and they must ensure that it is used for the purpose stated when they applied for the DUAT.

Nyusi urged the DUAT holders not to allow their land to lie idle. This initiative, he said, “is intended to guarantee the future of our children, of our families. With this project, nobody can say ‘this land is mine’ without doing anything with it”.

He warned that, since all property in land continues to vest in the State, the State could take back land which was not being used by the title holders.

Nyusi recalled that when “Terra Segura” was launched, some sceptical voices doubted it would be carried out, but now “everybody wants DUATS, since this is the way we have found to give the land to those who are its real owners”.

The target, he said, had been to issue five million land titles, and so far three million have been registered.

The project had also broken with the past by issuing DUATs to women. “In our tradition, even here in Nampula, everything belongs to the man”, Nyusi said. “When he dies, his brothers, uncles and other male relatives appear and take everything. The woman is left with nothing”.

But now that women were also receiving DUATS, that would all change, he promised. When the husband died, “nobody is going to take the land, just because the husband is no longer alive. That land belongs to their children and to the whole family”.

People who received land titles should look after them carefully, Nyusi said, because they are an archive which gives them power and also responsibility. Club of Mozambique

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