Govt to spend Rwf4.5bn on expropriating properties on Sonatubes-Gahanga road

The busy Kicukiro trading centre along the Sonatubes-Gahanga-Akagera Bridge road whose expansion is expected to start tomorrow. The expropriation of the property along this road will cost an estimated Rwf4.5 billion. Nadege Imbabazi.

Activities to expand the road from Sonatubes (Kicukiro) to Akagera Bridge (ex-Nyabarongo) through Gahanga town will start next month

A valuation exercise is already underway to determine how much will be paid to owners of properties to be affected by the works.

 

According to authorities, over 320 properties will be affected and the City has earmarked Rwf4.5 billion for the expropriation exercise.

 

“Starting Wednesday, valuers will be meeting individual property owners on site so that the two parties agree on the value before they can receive their compensation. Construction activities will start next month,” Jean d’Amour Rwunguka, the Acting City Engineer told The New Times.

 

Rwunguka, together with officials from Kicukiro District, Rwanda Transport Development Agency and other stakeholders, on Monday, met affected owners at Kicukiro District headquarters.

The road is being upgraded ahead of the completion of works on the new Bugesera International Airport which it is expected to service.

He said the construction of the 13.8 kilometre stretch will cost $53 million, which is a loan from the Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM BANK) while Rwf4.5 billion for expropriation will be paid by the Government.

“The road is supposed to be completed within 24 months but we are committing to complete it in one year. The road expansion will continue to Bugesera Airport but the part from Akagera River to the airport will be part of the Airport Project,” he said.

The first phase of the new airport is expected to be completed by 2020.

City officials announce compensation plan for residents to be affected by construction works on the Sonatubes-Gahanga road. Michel Nkurunziza.

Rwunguka told The New Times that the expansion was informed by a study which showed that infrastructure development along the road, including factories, residential houses and the Bugesera International Airport, would clog the road with traffic jams.

The engineer said that government has contracted Teledevelopment Ltd, a local firm, to conduct the valuation exercise while the road will be built by China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC).

“We will respect the 2015 expropriation law where we have to consult the residents to be expropriated and compensation has to be approved by district or City Council before the documents are signed,” he said.

He added: “Over 320 Unique Parcel Identifier (UPI) or properties in simple terms, will be compensated but the owners are more since one UPI might be shared by different owners.”

The construction works will be done in three phases; from Akagera River Bridge to Gahanga sector, from Gahanga to Nyanza Bus Park and from Nyanza to Sonatubes.

The property owners to be affected carefully following the plan to expropriate them. (Michel Nkurunziza)

According to Angelique Mukunde, the Vice Mayor in charge Economic Development in Kicukiro District, the expanded road will reduce a lot on cases of accidents that used to be reported on the current road, some fatal.

“We called property owners to get their ideas on the issues surrounding expropriation because we want the process to be as smooth as possible,” she said.

What property owners say

Elias Hagenimana, one of the property owners requested the city to fast-track the payments so that residents can relocate ahead of time of the expropriation works.

Jeannette Muhimpundu, another resident, sought the support of authorities for those who had bought property in the area but had not yet completed the process of transfer of ownership to ensure the expropriation doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.

Others called for special attention to property whose owners are in conflict and before courts of law.

Residents to be affected want some issues to be solved before compensating. (Michel Nkurunziza)

Cyprien Munyangabe asked the city to advocate for those with businesses that will be interrupted by the construction activities, saying that some have bank loans to pay adding that there should be negotiations with banks to facilitate restructuring the repayment process.

Responding to the concerns, Mukunde said this week would be dedicated to addressing such concerns, saying that all arising issues must be addressed before the expropriation is carried out.

She warned residents against some unscrupulous individuals who masquerade as valuers and then ask for bribes under the guise of giving a higher value to property.

 

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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