City districts reduce land lease rates

In response to one of the resolutions adopted at the 2011 National Dialogue, regarding reduction of land lease fees, the districts of Kicukiro and Gasabo have set new rates, which are apparently more affordable for property owners.  According to the Mayor of Kicukiro, Paul Jules Ndamage, owners of land in residential areas, which are essentially planned as settlements, will pay Rwf 80 on each square metre annually, down from Rwf 120, which was also the maximum lease fees paid.
Kicukiro Mayor Jules Ndamage. The New Times / File
Kicukiro Mayor Jules Ndamage. The New Times / File

In response to one of the resolutions adopted at the 2011 National Dialogue, regarding reduction of land lease fees, the districts of Kicukiro and Gasabo have set new rates, which are apparently more affordable for property owners.  

According to the Mayor of Kicukiro, Paul Jules Ndamage, owners of land in residential areas, which are essentially planned as settlements, will pay Rwf 80 on each square metre annually, down from Rwf 120, which was also the maximum lease fees paid.

People living in informal settlements will pay Rwf 50 per square metre, down from Rwf 80, while those in trading centres located in the outskirts of the city, like Masaka and Gahanga, will pay Rwf 30 instead of Rwf 80.

Land used for agriculture not exceeding two hectares will not be taxed. For land that exceeds this, charges will be Rwf 1,000 for each extra hectare.

“The District Advisory Committee met last week and reduced the rates to what is expected to be more affordable for the people – residents had raised complaints about the weight of the taxes,” Ndamage noted.

The rates that have been set for Gasabo District are similar to those of Kicukiro, however, the former did not provide for the category of informal settlements because it is assumed that those plots are designed for formal settlements, though the habitants still live in a disorderly manner, according to Willy Ndizeye, the Mayor of Gasabo.

Nyarugenge District is yet to revise rates though the District Advisory Committee is set to discuss the issue.  

No other district has revised the rates based on some interviews with upcountry governors and Mayors.

The new rates will have to be approved by the Rwanda Natural Resources Authority before they are gazetted into law. They will apply during the 2013 payments, which are to be paid in the course of 2012.

Maurice Kabungo, who owns a piece of land in Kagarama, Kicukiro District, welcomed the move to reduce the rates.

“This shows how much the people’s voice can be heard when there is a problem. We were concerned about these rates and I am happy they are being revised,” he said.

Meanwhile, Didier Sagashya of Rwanda Natural Resources Authority has revealed that the exercise to revise charges of some plots in 89 rural cells in Kigali used for agriculture has been completed.

emma.munyaneza@newtimes.co.rw

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