NYAGATARE—District authorities from Umutara grazing areas have embarked on an identification process of residents who are in most desperate need of land.
After verifying all public and military land in the province, private residents and commercial farmers have been given priority in detailing who is most in need of the scarce land. Land issues have been at the heart of controversy in the province in recent years.
Residents from different parts of the country has been optimistic over possible land acquisitions but information available says only Umutara residents are to benefit, leaving others frustrated and disappointed.
Geoffrey Mushaija, executive secretary of Nyagatare is set now to identify people in “genuine need” of land.
But the process of deciding even who and who does not get shortlisted has caused problems amongst residents. One official speaking on the condition of anonymity said the task was virtually impossible.
“Can you imagine just the number of applicants from Karangazi sector cannot all get land which was verified from the Umutara districts? The volume of people who applied is so huge and the land available is not enough.”
The first to not be short listed will be those living outside of Umutara.
Nyagatare vice-mayor for economic and development affairs Anseleme Majoro Rurangwa said the district was screening out those who applied late or come from other parts of the country.
“It’s a process of screening which is expected to help the district to identify residents who have no land when they are in desperate need of it,” Rurangwa said.
“This screening will involve the communities to work closely with local authorities to identify the right people with no land.”
The Umutara was agreed to be resettled by Rwandan exiles who were living in different countries during and after the 1994 Genocide.