EASTERN PROVINCE - The ongoing land re-distribution exercise in the Eastern Province has left the beneficiaries passionate about their newly acquired assets.
Several residents of Karangazi and Rwimiyaga sectors in Nyagatare District now have big dreams for their treasure, thanks to President Paul Kagame’s efforts.
By Wednesday, a total of 64 people in Nyagatare alone had benefited from the re-allocation of land, an operation that will go on to cover Kayonza, Gatsibo and Kirehe districts as well.
Oliver Kabatesi, a widow and mother of three could not hide her joy after receiving her temporally land title.
“I was evicted from the land that belongs to Gabiro School of Infantry and I moved to Karangazi Sector. I left my 50 cows there (in the garrison) because I had nowhere to take them. Now my President has offered me land with its title,” a contented Kabatesi shared her experience.
She went on: “Initially I had 25 hectares in Gabiro, but I am comfortable with my new 10 hectares because now I have my own land on which I can carry out development actvities, without fear of losing anything in future.”
Francis Rwakazayire, 68, had 67 heads of cattle but did not have land. With his wife and 10 children, they all live under one roof.
“I am honoured to have this chance to thank the President for his assistance. For sure I would not have lived much longer without him. It is like he has given new life to me and my family,” Rwakazayire said.
He added: “I really needed land and I promise to develop it. Kagame’s contribution to us is tremendous and we will pay back in kind when we get our own chance.”
Vianney Mugabo, 32, said he had 51 cows, which he had abandoned Gabiro after he found himself in the parameters of the park.
“I am married, with three children, but we have been living under terrible conditions ever since we were separated from our herd,” Mugabo said.
He was all praises for President Kagame for offering him a piece of land on which his family and cattle can at last be reunited, once again.
“I will exchange my cows for Friesians and make sure they become of better value,” he said.
He said that since he left Gabiro he has not gone back to check on his cattle, but he hopes they are well and have multiplied.
Another beneficiary, Josephine Uwantege, 38, is a widow and mother of seven, with 55 cows.
“My husband left me with nothing apart from the cows. My family can only survive on those cows, but they have been living very far way from us in Gabiro. Now that I have got this piece of land, our lives will be back to normal,” Uwantege said.
She continued: “I will ensure that my land is productively utilised. I will plant trees, among other activities that I intend to do.”
Venuste Mugabo, 58, said he does not own many cows, but was categorised among those who were in urgent need of land. He is married, with three children and has twenty heads of cattle. “I don’t own many cows like my friends, but I also urgently needed land. Now that I have it, I’ll ensure that it is used well.
I am ready to pay any amount of money to have the proper land title when time comes,” Mugabo said.
The beneficiaries will have to pay an amount of money yet to be decided, before they get permanent titles.