Land issues feature prominently among Kigali residents’ queries

KIGALI - Many residents from Kigali City’s three districts yesterday expressed concerns over the expropriation process and land distribution as Kigali City Council embarked on “Open Day.”
Kigali City District Mayors- Paul Jules Ndamage of Kicukiro (C) and Origene Rutayisire of Nyarugenge chat. On their left is Gasabo’s Claudine Nyinawagaga. This was during the Kigali City Open Day. (Photo/ J. Mbanda).
Kigali City District Mayors- Paul Jules Ndamage of Kicukiro (C) and Origene Rutayisire of Nyarugenge chat. On their left is Gasabo’s Claudine Nyinawagaga. This was during the Kigali City Open Day. (Photo/ J. Mbanda).

KIGALI - Many residents from Kigali City’s three districts yesterday expressed concerns over the expropriation process and land distribution as Kigali City Council embarked on “Open Day.”

Expropriation and land distribution issues are among major concerns that Kigali City Council has to face as it is implementing the newly launched Kigali Master Plan, in a move to modernise the city according to the set standards.

“We have been waiting for reimbursement after we were expropriated, but up to now the problem is still unsolved,” lamented Beatrice Mwemanani, a resident of Akumunigo cell in Nyarugenge district, one of the sites earmarked for high rise buildings after implementation of the Master Plan.

She was however assured that evaluations have been made and that her property was calculated, and she was promised to get her cheque in not later than a week’s time.

But Mwemanani seems not to be a unique case in the 730 km² city that was populated by a million people in 2006, and where plans to make the city more modern are underway.

Yet, according to Kigali City Mayor, Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, implementation of the Master Plan is not the cause of land disputes in Kigali, explaining that the plan itself came in as one way of solving the problems.

“Problems have been there for long, but the Master Plan will help us make broader direction of how to build our city,” she said, adding it’s still too early to make an evaluation of this plan, given it is even hard to affirm that it has been fully implemented in any particular area in the city.

At the end of the first term, statistics show that Kigali has now has a total of 176 hectares of sites that are ready to be sold and developed, in addition to another 235.39 hectares that have been made available for village constructions in distant areas of Kigali city.

All the three district Mayors have been urged to come up, within two weeks, with appropriate prices for plots that are ready for construction, many of which are meant to have full infrastructure such as roads, water and electricity among others.

Expropriation in former Lower Kiyovu, which will be named Central Business District, was evaluated at Rwf 28,000 per square metre, and the same plot is expected to cost Rwf 80,000 per square meter after installation of basic infrastructures.

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