KIGALI - Gasabo district has instructed the Housing Bank of Rwanda (HBR) to halt the expropriation exercise in Kinyinya sector.
This follows complaints by Kinyinya residents, who called upon the Kigali City Council to intervene and put to an end what they termed ‘illegal expropriation’ by the bank.
In a letter dated September 18, addressed to the HBR’s Director General and signed by Claudine Nyinawagaga, the district Mayor, the bank was barred from expropriation till further notice.
“I am writing to inform you once again to halt with immediate effect any expropriation exercise in Kinyinya,” the letter reads in part.
The letter which was also copied to the Prime Minister and the Local Government Minister came a month after the Gasabo District officially announced that it had temporarily halted the expropriation exercise until the 350 hectares of land already acquired are developed.
Kinyinya residents, through their representatives Jean Bosco Musime and Flugence Seminega, had earlier written to City Mayor, Aisa Kirabo Kakira, seeking her intervention to stop the bank from continuing expropriations in the area.
It is alleged that the bank connived with some local authorities and residents to continue the expropriation exercise despite the district’s orders.
At least 15 families were last month expropriated even after the district halted the exercise in its August 13 letter.
The same letter had also officially given full authority over their properties to all residents who had not been paid.
In a separate interview with Gervais Ntaganda, the Director General of the bank, he said that the 15 people were expropriated based on an agreement between area authorities and the bank.
“Besides, these people were in the middle of the land we had earlier acquired and found it necessary to expropriate them, especially since they were citing security concerns in the area,” Ntaganda said.
The controversial 200 hectares of land in Murama, Ngaruyinka village was evaluated in 2008 and about 2100 families were supposed to be removed costing Rwf6.4bn in a period of less than four months.
However, only a few were paid, prompting authorities to give the properties back to their owners.