Burka workers to vacate estate after property sale
By Staff Writer
More than 200 families of workers belonging to the Burka Coffee Estate who have been residing in staff housing units located within the coffee farms are compelled to vacate their estate to pave way for new developments in the farms.
“We are simply relocating our workers from the base farm settlements within the estate so that they may find alternative residences in town, because the part of the farms the Burka South, has been bought by another investor, the Delina General Enterprises Limited,” explained the Human Resources Manager for Burka Coffee Estates, Mrs Pamela Kaaya, pointing out that the workers will still be employees of the agricultural oriented company.
Since 1899 the Burka Coffee Estates have been growing and exporting Arabica beans from the farms but recently a large part of the estate measuring 418 acres was annexed and given to the government, through the Arusha District Council for the development of the proposed satellite city.
Also, some 297 acres were sold to the Burka City establishment whose largest shareholder was Mawalla Trust Limited and since 2011 there had been mutual agreement between Mawalla Trust and Burka Coffee estate for the latter to carry out farming operations in the land including making use of the residential quarters for farmers that are located inside the segment.
However from last April 2015 Burka City Limited sold the Burka South farms to Delina General Entreprises Limited a firm which plans to take over the land effectively from the 1st of August 2015 with the agreement that the area should be vacant by the time Delina moves in.
Because the Burka Coffee Estate workers’ housing units are located within the piece of land to be taken over by the new owner next August, the farm management has started the process to remove its workers from the area.
“It is a very costly undertaking because our firm has to pay six-month rent to all the 200 families, including moving allowances and foot the bill of transferring their children from one school to another,” explained Ms Kaaya.
Mr John Mwanayongo is among the affected Burka Estate workers, serving as warden: “The management agreed to pay each of the families living in three-bedroomed units 870,000/- as house allowance,” he said, adding that those in two-bedroom units will be given 630,000/- and those in one-bedroom houses are each to get 450,000/-.
“We are also entitled to 350,000/- school shifting allowance per child attending Primary or Secondary institutions and 200,000/- for each of the youngsters in kindergarten schools,” explained Mr Mwanayongo.
Other workers like Ms Saumu Mwinyimvua and Mr Juma Ramadhan said moving from their base into the harsh rental life in Arusha city was nothing short of a nightmare; “We used to have all the basic services including water, electricity and treatment but once outside all these will come at a price,” they lamented.