KIGALI - The long standing land row involving the State Minister for Community Development and Social Affairs, Christine Nyatanyi, and three residents of Ndera Sector, will be settled by a newly set up commission of inquiry after several government institutions failed to come up with a solution.
Speaking to The New Times, the chairman of National Land Commission, Dr. Peter Butera Bazimya, said that the matter has now been referred to an independent commission.
“The matter is now in the hands of an independent team, including stake holders like police and the Ombudsman’s office, to thoroughly investigate the matter,” Bazimya said.
Minister Nyatanyi wants three residents evicted from the land she says belongs to her father, Pierre Nyatanyi.
However, the residents claim that they settled there seven years ago under the government’s land sharing program.
Gasabo District had said that residents have a right to the land and that the minister’s land title should exclude the three residents.
Bernadette Umurerwa, one of affected residents, said that the land was given to them by district authorities.
Umurerwa also said that they are in possession of all the necessary documents confirming that the land belonged to them.
Since 2004, Umurerwa said, they have been denied the right to carry out any developmental activities or renovations on their houses.
However, the Ombudsman recommended that the residents be expropriated and built new houses elsewhere before they are evicted.
National Land Commission’s legal advisor, Nadia Ingabire, who is also on the commision, told The New Times that they are investigating to ascertain if and when the residents were really given the land by the government.
Ingabire added that team will submit their report next month with recommendations of how the matter should be resolved.