Name ID 1295
Ubwani, Zephania Babati land conflict
Page Number: 2
But the illiterate inhabitants of Kiru valley being pastoralists, peasants, casual laborers,
fishermen, mere passers-by and others, any mention of Dudumera Plantations is a received with hostility, showing that labour relations between the farm owners and the surrounding communities, including the farm workers, could have been bad. Dudumera estate is commonly known as "Kwa Terror", not just during the last 30 years it has been in Chagan’s hands, but even before.
"Bwana Terror" would connote a no-nonsense settler farmer, often holding a gun, who would terrorize his stubborn farm workers. The same tactics would apply to trespassers and cattle grazers.
Until then, (1997), officially there were 34 commercial farmers, most of them of Asian origin in the entire Kiru valley, an area stretching from close to Babati to the southern shores of Lake Manyara. However, in many farms not all land was cultivated.
Information gathered had it that the area was opened up after the Second World War, when the white settler farmers, including soldiers demobilized from the war, were moved there with the facilitation of the British colonial government.
During the white settlers’ occupation, probably until the early 1970s, the farms were typical settler farms.
They enjoyed modern irrigation facilities, and produced coffee, beans, maize, and fruit, while some were cattle ranchers.
Change in ownership from the white European settlers to the Asians, in turn, changed the scenery from the lush green coffee and fruit plantations to sugar cane fields.
Incidentally, the sugar cane grown was not used to produce the badly needed crystalline sugar, but jaggery (sukari guru) which is a key raw material for the production of alcoholic drinks by villagers nearby and in neighboring regions.
It was because of the big potential for sugar cane that IPI earmarked the area for the installation of prototypes of mini-sugar plants in an effort to promote the technology as well as produce crystalling or table sugar for the local market.