Residents upset over demolitions

SOUTHERN PROVINCE KAMONYI - Residents of Nyagacyamu village, Muganza cell in Runda sector are upset with local officials over the demolition of some of their housing construction projects.Those particularly affected claim that they had  bought the pieces of land recently and further claim to have obtained  official permission to construct the structures which have since been pulled down.
Niyitegeka looks at his demolished house (Photo: G. Gasarasi)
Niyitegeka looks at his demolished house (Photo: G. Gasarasi)

SOUTHERN PROVINCE

KAMONYI - Residents of Nyagacyamu village, Muganza cell in Runda sector are upset with local officials over the demolition of some of their housing construction projects.

Those particularly affected claim that they had  bought the pieces of land recently and further claim to have obtained  official permission to construct the structures which have since been pulled down.

Those affected by such moves further say that the process targeted certain persons pointing to cases of favoritism in the demolition process.

Fulgence Niyitegeka, one of the complainants, alleged that officials had reversed the approval they had secured to enable them put up their structures which have now been demolished.

Niyitegeka told this reporter that his construction project had cost him Rwf6millions just before it was pulled down by authorities. He  further added that he is a very disappointed person as he has observed that his neighbours’ house construction project which is similar to his is still underway.

Jeannette Nyiransabimana, a 47-year old mother of four children, also claimed that the leaders halted the construction of her almost-complete house, after failing to part with a bribe.

Other residents The New Times spoke to such as  Jerome Kamali, claim that whenever an inquiry is made as to why they cannot go on with construction, officials  reply that  such plots  are situated along land earmarked for a road construction project.

“We need government intervention because such unsatisfactory reasons  have left us in confusion and yet it is evident that this is unfair,” Nyiransabimana stated.

Cecille Nyiramana, the leader of Muganza cell, who is one of the officers charged with overseeing such matters  agrees that such actions are unfair. Asked if she has taken any actions to correct the abnormalities which are occurring within her area of jurisdiction , Nyiramana said that: “the sector officials undermine decisions taken by cell leadership and the lame excuses have no basis since a master plan was agreed on where roads and factories would be constructed”.

Nyagacyamu village leaders further reveal that the area was designated for a settlement scheme in 2008, and as such there is no reason why houses should be demolished if permission was granted by grass root levels.

Sources within local administration have said that some officers have also threatened to resign from local government duties if such arbitrary activities are still encouraged.

The complainants named those implicated in demolition as Innocent Rwihirwa and Christine Nyirandayisabye, the Agricultural officers and executive secretary of Runda sector respectively. Upon being contacted for comments, however Mayor Jean Paul Munyandamutsa, said that he was not aware of the incident. He promised to follow up on the case.

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