Kirehe – Families in Kirehe District are rocked in wrangles related to inheritance of property that often escalate into violence, largely due to repeated failure by grassroots to enforce court decisions.
This issue came to light when the Governor of Eastern Province, Odette Uwamariya met with Nyarubuye residents over the weekend.
The Governor has been on a tour of a number of districts trying to tackle standing issues among communities, since taking over from Dr Aisa Kirabo Kacyira a few months ago.
According to area residents, family issues are often ignored, as rivalries emanating mainly from inheritance, intensify among communities.
Dancilla Mukasimugomwa, 57, a resident of Mareba Sector, said that her land case remained unresolved despite the court’s ruling in her favour.
She said that court bailiffs, who are essentially local leaders, were to blame as they deliberately delay to implement court decisions.
“I have all the court documents properly written and stamped...but the cell Executive Secretary has failed to give me the land my neighbour had taken illegally. This is where things go wrong,” she explained.
Agnes Tuyisenge a 16 years old girl said she was denied the right to her deceased father’s land and property.
She observed that her case had been taken up by local leaders in her village in Nasho Sector some time back, but it was yet to be addressed.
“I am bringing the case to the Governor because our grassroots leaders can’t offer me a solution. I wonder how people fail simple things! I have the right to the land and property my father left behind. But look, I am left to starve in the eyes of everybody in our community,” she told The New Times.
Governor Uwamariya challenged local leaders to always handle conflicts before they escalate.
She, however, warned residents to avoid creating unnecessary conflicts.
“I know there is reluctance from grassroots leaders...it explains why I have been going district by district to help find some solutions to some of the pending issues.
“There are individuals I want to warn, particularly those who have made it a lifestyle to embroil themselves in conflicts...a court decision is binding, no one should think of challenging it,” she cautioned.
Many land cases that courts resolved take long to be implemented in most rural communities.
Local watchdog, Transparency Rwanda, last year slammed local leaders, who often serve as court bailiffs, for frustrating the implementation of court orders.