Stakeholders call for accountability in land tribunals

The National Land Dialogue that took place recently has resolved to urge the government to put in place measures that will make land courts and mediators more accountable in executing land decisions to promote and protect land rights, especially for the marginalized people in society.
Delegates attending the national land dialogue (Photo; F. Goodman)
Delegates attending the national land dialogue (Photo; F. Goodman)

The National Land Dialogue that took place recently has resolved to urge the government to put in place measures that will make land courts and mediators more accountable in executing land decisions to promote and protect land rights, especially for the marginalized people in society.

A declaration from the dialogue, which brought together officials from government institutions, investors, civil society, donors and local governments, states that, although government implemented good land laws, injustices still prevail in the protection of land rights, particularly for widows and orphans.

“We believe that land courts and mediators must step-up their efforts in reducing land related disputes which are mainly based on land scarcity, while also economically providing more sustainable options,” the declaration reads.

According to the Director of Rwanda Initiative for Sustainable Development (RISD), Annie Kairaba, most land problems are due to lack of goodwill by some authorities, corruption, poor land cultural practices and lack of appropriate coordination among institutions that deal with land.

“To make land laws effective and beneficial to Rwandans, the concerned officials must be held accountable for their decisions that affect the ordinary people. They must have the will to handle every land case effectively,” Kairaba said in an interview.

The stakeholders also commended the efforts by the government and the Office of the Ombudsman in promoting equity in land distribution, citing the recent excise in the Eastern Province, where land was redistributed to the landless.

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