Rwanda: Gasabo Orders Housing Bank Off Kinyinya Land

Bosco R. Asiimwe

Kigali — Gasabo district has instructed
the Housing Bank of Rwanda (HBR)
to halt the expropriation exercise in Kinyinya sector.

This follows complaints by Kinyinya residents,
who called upon the Kigali City Council
to intervene and put to an end
what they termed 'illegal expropriation'
by the bank.

In a letter dated September 18, addressed
to the HBR's Director General and signed
by Claudine Nyinawagaga, the district Mayor,
the bank was barred from expropriation
till further notice.

"I am writing to inform you once again
to halt with immediate effect any
expropriation exercise in Kinyinya,"
the letter reads in part.

The letter which was also copied
to the Prime Minister and the Local
Government Minister came a month
after the Gasabo District officially announced
that it had temporarily halted
the expropriation exercise until
the 350 hectares of land already
acquired are developed.

Kinyinya residents, through
their representatives Jean Bosco Musime
and Flugence Seminega, had earlier
written to City Mayor, Aisa Kirabo Kakira,
seeking her intervention to stop
the bank from continuing expropriations
in the area.

It is alleged that the bank connived
with some local authorities and residents
to continue the expropriation exercise
despite the district's orders.

At least 15 families were last month
expropriated even after the district
halted the exercise in its August 13 letter.

The same letter had also officially given
full authority over their properties
to all residents who had not been paid.
In a separate interview with Gervais Ntaganda,
the Director General of the bank,
he said that the 15 people were expropriated
based on an agreement between
area authorities and the bank.

"Besides, these people were in the middle
of the land we had earlier acquired
and found it necessary to expropriate them,
especially since they were citing
security concerns in the area," Ntaganda said.

The controversial 200 hectares of land
in Murama, Ngaruyinka village was
evaluated in 2008 and about 2100 families
were supposed to be removed
costing Rwf6.4bn in a period
of less than four months.

However, only a few were paid,
prompting authorities to give
the properties back to their owners.

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