KIGALI - Cases of Genocide orphans whose property has been illegally grabbed by individuals and different institutions have now reached 543, an official report seen by The New Times says.
This is contained in report done by different concerned institutions that include the Ministries of Justice and Local Government, the National Prosecution, the Ombudsman office as wells as IBUKA and the Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG).
The same report says more new cases were still emerging.
In 2006, IBUKA, petitioned the Prime Minister’ s office to come to the rescue of Genocide orphans whose property especially land, houses and social security savings were being unfairly claimed by selfish individuals including caretakers and former neighbours.
Consequently, the Prime Minister tasked the Ministry of Justice to investigate the cases and bring to book those involved in the illegal activities and return the claimed properties to their respective owners.
A report conducted by these institutions discovered gross injustice on the side of genocide orphans countrywide who have had their properties claimed by guardians and relatives after the death of their parents during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Surprisingly, Local Government is also implicated in the scandal after the report indicated that the authorities especially districts take the decision to build Imidugudu on land belonging to these orphans without compensating the owners.
The survivor’s umbrella Ibuka is not impressed with the government response to the issue and it says concerned authorities have dragged their feet in addressing the problem for the last two years.
In an interview with The New Times, the president of Ibuka, Theodore Simburudari said that concerned levels of governance have instead engaged in blame games without addressing the concerns of genocide orphans.
“For us what we do is raise such issues and there other authorities to take action, it is unfortunate that they haven’t acted 2 years after we raised this issue. Some of these people are young and they really want to see justice delivered,” Simburudari said.
A meeting held at MINIJUST yesterday involving all the concerned parties pointed a finger at MINALOC for frustrating efforts to address this issue from the grass root level.
The meeting chaired by the Deputy Attorney General Jacqueline Bakamurera agreed to resolve the issues by the end of January 2010 and come up with a final report and recommendations.
Bank Populaire is also involved in one case of an orphan identified as Chantal Umutoni, representing 6 family members who had their Petrol Station in Shyorongi, Rulindo District claimed by the bank.
According to Bakamurera, there has been negligence at all levels with all concerned authorities not knowing their respective roles and course of action.
“What we did today was to allocate roles; who is to deal with what and as you can see MINALOC has the biggest portion of cases to address. At least by the end of January we should all come back here with a permanent solution to this problem,” Bakamurera said.
The report shows that some orphans had their properties seized by the killers of their families while some land was taken over by government.
“What we want is a law in place to protect the properties of such people. In some instances just one person remained while in other cases you find children are still going to school.”
“We can’t sit back and watch as they are ripped by people. Government needs to compensate where it took over land and property.” Simburudari observed.