KIGALI - The State Minister in charge of Community Development and Social Affairs, Christine Nyatanyi is embroiled in land wrangles with Ndera residents and has now called for their eviction, The New Times can reliably report.
Nyatanyi is said to be exerting pressure on Gasabo district to evict three residents who built houses on land that belonged to her father, Pierre Nyatanyi.
Several government institutions including Gasabo district, the National Land Centre and the Ministry of Land and Environment met on Monday in Ndera sector to discuss the matter and come up with a viable solution to the six-year dispute that.
Nyatanyi declined to speak to journalists after the consultative meeting with residents that was mediated by Stanislas Kamanzi, the Minister of Lands and Environment.
In a letter dated November 2, 2004 Nyatanyi wrote to the then Mayor of Kabuga, which now falls under Gasabo, claiming her father’s land.
The letter also requested the mayor to intervene and evict the current occupants who had built their homes on the disputed land.
“I have sent you this letter and attached are copies of all legal documents proving that the land belonged to my father (Pierre Nyatanyi), the documents include a copy of land title and I hope the matter will be soon resolved,” the letter that The New Times has seen reads in part.
Bernadette Umurerwa, one of three affected residents, said that the land was given to them by district authorities in a land distribution exercise.
Umurerwa says they were given all the necessary documents attesting that the land belonged to them.
She also stressed that since 2004, they have been denied the right to carry out any developmental activities or renovations on their houses.
“We were given the land by the government in the land distribution programme. Nyatanyi was made aware of this and she assented, but she later changed her mind,” Umurerwa said.
This was also supported by Nicodeme Nkeramihigo, who accused the minister of trying to evict them from the land they have occupied for the past nine years.
Nkeramihigo, an old man with a family of six, alleges that district authorities have been on their neck to vacate the land with no alternative place to go.
He said that they have petitioned several offices but none has come to their rescue except the Ombudsman who suggested a mediation process between the two parties, noting that the residents have a right to stay on the land.
Minister Kamanzi said that relevant authorities were meeting to seek information on the issue to guide relevant parties for a viable solution.
The former Minister of Local Government, Christophe Bazivamo, had given Gasabo District a two-month ultimatum to secure the land.
However, the newly elected Mayor of Gasabo, Willy Ndizeye, told The New Times shortly after the on-scene meeting that the matter was out of the District’s hands.
Meanwhile, a letter signed by Ndizeye which The New Times has seen, informed Nyatanyi that she could get all land documents if she excluded the piece of land where the three affected residents are occupying.
He said the district gave Nyatanyi the option of expropriating the residents if she did not want them on her father’s land.