SMZ Terminates Pennyroyal Limited Land Lease [Blue Amber Resort Project]
(For Immediate Release)
11th September 2022
Unguja, Zanzibar. The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar (SMZ) has terminated the Land Lease held by Pennyroyal Limited in Matemwe – Zanzibar. The land is where the worldclass Blue Amber Project was under construction.
The termination was issued despite the fact that Pennyroyal Limited had obtained from the High Court interim status quo maintenance orders since February 2022.
In 2014, Pennyroyal Limited and its predecessor acquired a consolidated Leasehold for 411 hectares, from SMZ, for purposes of developing the Blue Amber Resort.
Subsequently, the design of the Project was completed, presented, and approved by the Zanzibar Investment Promotion Authority (ZIPA). Pennyroyal was granted the status of Strategic Investor. All other statutory authorizations including but not limited to the Environmental Impact Assessment Certificate was issued.
In June 2021, Pennyroyal Limited was informed by SMZ that the Government intended to give part of the land under its Leasehold to “investors from Dubai, UAE”. This was followed by a letter from the Government that it was seeking to execute a High Court decree where a thirdparty company had won a dispute involving Plots No. 1107 and 1118. Formerly, these plots were part of the land under Pennyroyal Leasehold and currently under development. It later transpired that in the case that was being referred to, the Government had abandoned the case, failed to appear in Court, and the Court had issued a one-sided decision. The Government has failed or refused to take any action to assert its rights or at least to appear in Court, to date. No explanation has to date been given as to why Pennyroyal Limited, being the registered Leasehold owner, was neither joined to the case nor informed of the proceedings.
It is also noteworthy that, to date no High Court execution orders have been issued against Pennyroyal Limited as required or at all.
Despite the above, by a letter dated July 25, 2022, ZIPA, a statutory body charged with overseeing and authorizing investments in Zanzibar, informed Pennyroyal Limited that it will not renew its construction permit because their Leasehold has been terminated by the Ministry of Lands.
“We have made all efforts to ensure this Project does not collapse. However, our efforts have been futile as the Government has declined to reverse its position. We have since informed all the prospective property owners who had invested in different types of properties, of this development.” said the British developer Mr. Brian Thomson, the owner of Pennyroyal Limited.
“The said cancellation of the Land Lease agreement and consequent refusal to renew the construction permit did not consider that Pennyroyal Limited had already invested heavily in the project as reported to ZIPA regularly through quarterly filings, and there is ongoing construction at the site and the Court order issued in February 2022.”
Pennyroyal Limited and its representatives have done all that is in their ability to resolve the current situation, since the alleged dispute plots are only a fraction of the entire project (only 20 hectares out of the 411 hectares) and would not warrant termination of the entire Leasehold. Unfortunately to date no amicable solution has been reached.
As a result of these developments, Pennyroyal Limited has been left with no option and forced to terminate its operations at the site.
Pennyroyal Limited highly regrets any inconvenience caused to potential owners, investors, employees, contractors, and the public in general.
Notes to the Editor:
Located in Matemwe on the Northeastern coast of Zanzibar in Tanzania, Blue Amber Zanzibar will be Africa’s leading leisure destination and Zanzibar’s premier island resort. Appointed across 410 hectares (1013 acres) of tropical landscape with 4 kilometres of prime Indian Ocean coastline, Blue Amber is projected to be the largest resort development of its kind in Africa and is recognized as a Strategic Investment Project in Tanzania. Scheduled to open in phases from 2021, the resort will feature leading global hotel brands, luxury residential homes, world-class amenities and a golf course.
SMZ yasitisha hati ya ardhi ya Pennyroyal Limited [Mradi wa Blue Amber Resort] Taarifa kwa Vyombo vya Habari
Tarehe 10 Septemba 2022
Serikali ya Mapinduzi Zanzibar (SMZ) imesitisha Mkataba wa Ukodishaji wa Ardhi iliyokuwa ikimilikiwa na Kampuni ya Pennyroyal Limited Zanzibar. Ardhi hiyo iliyopo Matemwe ndio mahali Mradi wa Blue Amber ulikuwa ukijengwa.
Usitishaji huo ulitolewa licha ya kwamba Pennyroyal Limited ilikuwa imepokea amri kutoka Mahakama Kuu kuendelkeza ujenzi tangu Februari 2022.
Mnamo mwaka 2014, Pennyroyal Limited ilipata hati ya umiliki wa hekta 411, kutoka SMZ, kwa madhumuni ya kuendeleza ujenzi wa mradi wa Blue Amber Resort.
Baadaye, usanifu wa Mradi ulikamilika, ukawasilishwa, na kuidhinishwa na Mamlaka ya Kukuza Vitega Uchumi Zanzibar (ZIPA). Pennyroyal ilipewa hadhi ya Mwekezaji wa kimkakati.
Uidhinishaji mwingine wote wa kisheria ikiwemo Cheti cha Tathmini ya Athari kwa Mazingira ulitolewa na mamlaka zote husika.
Mnamo Juni 2021, Pennyroyal Limited iliarifiwa na SMZ kwamba Serikali ilikusudia kutoa sehemu ya ardhi chini ya umiliki wake kwa ‘wawekezaji kutoka Dubai, UAE’.
Hii ilifuatiwa na barua kutoka kwa Serikali kwamba ilikuwa ikitaka kutekeleza agizo la Mahakama Kuu ambapo kampuni ya wahusika wengine ilishinda kesi iliohusisha Viwanja Na. 1107 na 1118.
Viwanja hivo vilikuwa sehemu ya ardhi iliyopo chini ya Pennyroyal Leasehold na kwa sasa inaendelezwa. Baadaye ilibainika kuwa katika kesi iliyokuwa inatajwa, Serikali iliachana na kesi hiyo, ilishindwa kufika Mahakamani, na Mahakama ilitoa uamuzi wa upande mmoja.
Hadi leo, Serikali imeshindwa au imekataa kuchukua hatua yoyote ya kudai haki yake au angalau kufika Mahakamani. Hakuna maelezo ambayo yametolewa hadi leo kuhusu kwa nini Pennyroyal Limited, ikiwa mmiliki wa hati iliyosajiliwa, haikuunganishwa katika kesi hiyo wala kufahamishwa kuhusu kesi hiyo.
Ni vyema pia kutambua kwamba hadi leo hakuna amri ya Mahakama Kuu ya utekelezaji ambayo imetolewa dhidi ya Pennyroyal Limited kama inavyotakiwa.
Pamoja na hayo , mnamo Julai 25, 2022, kwa barua ZIPA, iliitaarifu Pennyroyal Limited kwamba haitahuisha kibali chake cha ujenzi kwa sababu umiliki wao wa ardhi hiyo umesitishwa na Wizara ya Ardhi.
“Tumejitahidi kuhakikisha Mradi huu hauporomoki. Hata hivyo, jitihada zetu zimeambulia patupu kwani Serikali imekataa kubadili msimamo wake. Tumewajulisha wamiliki wote watarajiwa wa nyumba ambao walikuwa wamewekeza katika aina tofauti za nyumba, juu ya haya yaliyotokea.” alisema Bw. Brian Thomson, mmiliki wa Pennyroyal Limited.
Aliongeza: Kufutwa kwa hati ya ardhi hiyo na kukataa kuhuisha kibali cha ujenzi hakukutilia maanani kwamba Pennyroyal Limited ilikuwa tayari imewekeza fedha nyingi katika mradi kama ilivyoripotiwa kwa ZIPA kupitia ripoti ya kila robo mwaka, ujenzi unaoendelea katika eneo hilo na agizo la Mahakama lililotolewa mnamo Februari 2022.
Pennyroyal Limited na wawakilishi wake wamefanya yote yaliyo katika uwezo wao kutatua hali ya sasa, kwa kuwa viwanja vinavyodaiwa kuwa vina migogoro ni sehemu ndogo tu ya mradi mzima (hekta 20 tu kati ya hekta 411) na haungehusu kusitishwa kwa mradi mzima. Kwa bahati mbaya hadi leo hakuna suluhisho lililofikiwa.
Kutokana na haya, Pennyroyal Limited imelazimika kusitisha shughuli zake zote katika eneo la ujenzi.
Pennyroyal Limited inasikitika sana kwa usumbufu wowote uliosababishwa kwa wamiliki watarajiwa, wawekezaji, wafanyakazi, wakandarasi na umma kwa ujumla.