Gatsibo families embroiled in bitter land wrangles

Gatsibo-Hundreds of families in Gatsibo District are involved in serious land disputes that threaten family bonds.This was disclosed at a function to launch the Good Governance Month in the district on Monday.

Gatsibo-Hundreds of families in Gatsibo District are involved in serious land disputes that threaten family bonds.

This was disclosed at a function to launch the Good Governance Month in the district on Monday.

The function was attended by Ambassador Fatuma Ndangiza, the deputy Executive Secretary of the Rwanda Governance Board, the Governor of Eastern Province, Odette Uwamariya, and other high ranking government officials.

Most land wrangles are related to inheritance, intermarriages, expansion of agriculture under the land consolidation programme, and local leaders’ reluctance to manage conflicts.

Felicien Nibobose, 55, a resident of Ngarama Sector, who claims to have an unresolved land case for the past nine years, told The New Times there were many cases identical to his among the rural communities in the area.

He said that most families lead uncertain lives with their cases either pending before courts or hanging in balance.

“My case dates several years back…I sometimes wonder if it will ever be resolved. My brother and I have been in a conflict relating to inheritance of a piece of land and I am afraid it may escalate into violence. Local leaders should help us end the stalemate,” he pleaded.

Jeanne Mukamurerwa, a mother of ten, said her husband had failed to distribute the family land equitably.

“My husband has two wives…unfortunately, he prefers the younger wife to me. He has given all the land to the young wife, disregarding me. I cannot accept it and neither shall my children. This is a time bomb waiting to explode one day,” she warned.

However, the Mayor, Ambrose Ruboneza, said there were mechanisms in place to handle each case based on land or domestic violence legislations.

He warned residents against taking the law into their hands, advising them to always seek advice from leaders in their respective communities.

stephen.rwembeho@newtimes.co.rw

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