MPs quiz Kamanzi over land concerns

Lawmakers, on Friday, raised various land related concerns, as Minister of Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi, presented a new draft law on land use and development planning. Legislators approved the preamble of the bill but pointed out issues including continued land conflicts, and unfair expropriation practices.
 Minister Stanislas Kamanzi
Minister Stanislas Kamanzi

Lawmakers, on Friday, raised various land related concerns, as Minister of Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi, presented a new draft law on land use and development planning.

Legislators approved the preamble of the bill but pointed out issues including continued land conflicts, and unfair expropriation practices.

MP Fortunee Nyiramadirida, highlighted the issue of delayed master plans that hamper people’s development plans as they cannot work or develop their land before the master plans are out.

She indicated that delays in processing master plans somewhat deny people the rights to make the most of their land.

Nyiramadirida, in addition noted that the newly set settlement arrangements also tend to deny the underprivileged, especially in Kigali, as they are not rich enough to put up the required standard housing.

Tharcisse Shamakokera wondered how parliament could efficiently discuss issues largely to do with the master plan, yet the House had not seen it.

According to Kamanzi, among other things, the law is clear on issues such as expropriation and no Rwandan should be cheated when selling their land. He noted that pertinent laws are in place and that procedures are clear as well.

Kamanzi said: “It cannot be done forcefully.”

Once enacted, the new law is supposed to ensure transparent coordination, supervision and enforcement of land use and development at all levels of government.

It is aimed at ensuring the protection of the environment; and promoting social welfare among Rwandans.

One of its fundamental principles, as stated, is that land use and development must be administered and managed so as to contribute to sustainable social, economic, and environmental development for Rwandan generations.

The legislation will streamline the conditions applicable to land use and development planning master plans, among other issues.

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