desperate residents storm Nyagatare sector offices over land

EASTERN PROVINCE Nyagatare—Hundreds of residents last week stormed Nyagatare sector offices over what they describe as unfair land distribution decisions.

EASTERN PROVINCE

Nyagatare—Hundreds of residents last week stormed Nyagatare sector offices over what they describe as unfair land distribution decisions.

Police and local authorities recently identified those permitted to acquire land in the Umutara grazing districts.

After distributing land to government and military, those “in most desperate need” were to be awarded land first, but many residents didn’t find themselves on the list among those to benefit.

“We don’t understand the procedure the authorities are applying in the selection of those to benefit from the process because many people who are really desperate for land were not put on the list,” said Stanislas Mbabazi.

“Their integrity is questionable. Many of us came to this district in 1994 and we were not considered.”

The process of determining who is to be short listed has immersed dozens of residents in disappointments describing themselves as desperate cases among them including people living with HIV/Aids.

Now residents say that it has yielded “no positive results.” Recently the vice-mayor for economic and development affairs Anselme Majoro Rurangwa said the screening would involve communities working closely with local authorities.

Among the people found at Nyagatare sector include young men who look to be in their twenties all expressing disappointment after never appearing on the list of those to benefit from the land distribution process. 

Eastern province executive secretary Charles Gasana, though, was hesitant to give details on who had applied and who was eligible for the distribution.

“The process of identifying those to benefit from land distribution is still going on so no one could say that he was left out,” Gasana said.

“The identification process is going ahead.”

The New Times established that residents have also stormed sector offices in Rwimiyaga, Tabagwe, Matimba, and Rwimpasha, all expressing disappointment in the situation.

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