Land or money: Land compensation stalls

 EASTERN PROVINCE BUGESERA — Four residents who lost land to the district in 2004 have failed to choose between compensation in monetary terms, or land, derailing the process which was expected to be complete by the end of this week.

EASTERN PROVINCE

BUGESERA — Four residents who lost land to the district in 2004 have failed to choose between compensation in monetary terms, or land, derailing the process which was expected to be complete by the end of this week.

Rwiza Iradukunda, one of the residents told The New Times on Thursday, that the district has accepted to compensate them with either land equivalent to the hectares they lost, or money worth the land, but it is hard to make the choice, because the amount of money has not been disclosed.

"We are still consulting our friends and relatives on which choice to take.

"For me I would prefer money but the bad thing they have not disclosed the amount of money due per hectare. We tried to ask them but they were tightlipped saying, they will negotiate with those who will have chosen money. So, now I have failed to make a choice," Iradukunda said.

They said the process of compensation has halted because they are yet to make a decision and get back to the district officials.

The land wrangle arose after the district, then headed by mayor Francis Nkurunziza, in collaboration with sector leaders in 2004, reportedly ‘grabbed’ a piece of land belonging to different residents; and gave it to Americans to construct Maranyundo Girls school.

When contacted for a comment, the district mayor, Gaspard Musonera confirmed the derailing of the process saying, the residents were yet to give them the feed back on what choice they have chosen.

"We have to give them time to decide on what to take. It’s their right to make a decision over their property. For us we are ready to compensate any person who has made a choice. It will be up to an individual to accept land or money for compensation," he said adding, we are going to start land negotiations with those who choose money and I hope every thing will be okay.

He said it is a simple matter because those who choose land will get same hectares of land else where. Earlier, the mayor had said that the government has given the district land at Kamatana for the purpose.

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