Officials vow to resolve Kigali City Park issue

VILLAGE URUGWIRO - The private sector and Kigali City Council officials recently promised to steadfastly work towards resolving the long gridlocked Kigali City Park (KCP) project.
Eugene Nyagahene (C) and Musoni Ndamage (R). (PhotoPPU).
Eugene Nyagahene (C) and Musoni Ndamage (R). (PhotoPPU).

VILLAGE URUGWIRO - The private sector and Kigali City Council officials recently promised to steadfastly work towards resolving the long gridlocked Kigali City Park (KCP) project.

This was emphasized during the Presidential investors’ roundtable at Urugwiro Village, early this week after the matter was raised, amongst pending issues from last year’s meeting, and the President’s firm call for a solution to the matter.

KCP is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) project of constructing a recreational centre in the Nyarutarama area in Gasabo District.

“It needs to be discussed, at least to resolve some of the problems that could be resolved,” maintained President Paul Kagame.

“Why don’t you, stakeholders – Kigali City, the two investors, RDB people and the Finance Ministry, why don’t you sit, or involve private sector people, sit and look at the merits of the case, the different scenarios of dealing with it and we give you our support?” he posed to the different stakeholders insisting on fast action.

While presenting a summary of pending issues from the previous meeting, Emmanuel Hategeka, the Executive Secretary of the Private Sector Federation (PSF) had declared that the issue is still unresolved, causing substantial losses to investors.

“According to Kigali City Council and Riepa, Dubai World is halting investment for another year, citing the global financial crisis. This is creating uncertainties on the next steps,” he acknowledged.

Dubai World is a global investment company with over 50,000 employees that manages and supervises a portfolio of businesses and projects for the Dubai Government.

When put to task, the officials involved, including Francis Gatare, the Rwanda Development Board’s Principal Deputy CEO and Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kakira, the Mayor of Kigali City said they would immediately follow up to resolve the situation.

“What I can tell this meeting is that we will follow it up. We will do it urgently,” Dr. Kakira assured.

Robert Bayigamba, the Private Sector Federation (PSF) President had painted a seemingly gloomy picture on KCP’s current status.

“KCP investment in Nyarutarama valley started in June 2003 and was halted in February 2007,” he said, adding that since December 2007, no payment was made to compensate KCP despite earlier resolutions of the Presidential Investors Round Table’s (PIRT).

He also pointed out that Bank interests and losses at a rate of one million Rwandan francs per day had accumulated since January 2007. This has put the investors in a financial dilemma.

Bayigamba explained that the Central Bank categorized the private investors into the venture Musoni Ndamage and Eugene Nyagahene “in class five due to the loans owed” to banks, meaning all their other businesses cannot receive loans.

“Equipment on site has depreciated beyond recovery and road infrastructure has not been maintained and lost value,” he added.

According to Kigali City (website), the struggling multimillion dollar project whose site is in Nyarutarama, is a public private partnership initiative aimed at encouraging investors to invest in the country’s tourism.  

It is stated that what is largely envisaged is a recreation and leisure facility offering entertainment including, sports, amusement, indoor games, cultural exchange, local and foreign tourism attractions, meeting and conference facilities and residential accommodation in a countryside environment.

The landscape aspect of the development will give the city a facelift and ensure controlled developments that are environmentally friendly and which support economically viable regional ecotourism.

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