NGOMA – Several houses that were constructed illegally in Kibungo town were demolished last Sunday.
Talking to The New Times, the Ngoma district Vice Mayor in charge of Social Affairs, Iphigenie Mukandera said that the move was intended to send a warning message to people building houses without being cleared by authorities.
Despite several warnings, she said, there has been a rise in the number of illegal structures in Kibungo town.
“We have offered the affected residents alternative houses to occupy…so no one should complain,” she said.
“I advice any would be developer to consult district authorities to avoid the pain of having their structures demolished after completion.”
Mukandera added that the town has been unable to develop a new modern market in the area, due to unplanned structures that have occupied the space needed for the expansion of the market.
The demolition is not out of any ill motive, but a deterrent measure, she stressed.
Joseph Sematabaro, the chairman of Ngoma District Advisory Council, said that the affected landlords had breached an agreement requiring them to put up only temporary business premises.
“It is well stipulated that they owned the plots on temporary basis,” he said.
However, some landlords said that the district authorities had actually given them a go ahead to construct the structures only for the same authorities to have them destroyed.
Jean Bosco Bagirishya and Zenoke Ngarambe, while talking to The New Times complained, saying the district had allowed them to put up the structures which were eventually destroyed.
“The decision against the structures we constructed was taken unfairly. We needed ample time and compensation, but the houses they want to give us do not measure to the ones destroyed,” they said.
Police officers who oversaw the demolition said the unplanned structures provided a fertile ground for crime to thrive, adding that they unearthed marijuana, illicit alcohol and even weapons from the shanty houses.
The affected families will be relocated in the village of Rugesa in Rurenge sector, Ngoma district.