The recent evictions of people from land earmarked for developmental activities was received with mixed feelings from different classes of people, some tagging them as brutal, while to others it was long overdue.
Specifically, the evictions targeted kiosk owners and residents of that part of Kiyovu that was earmarked long ago by the Kigali City Council for re-development, and encroachers on the wetland in Gikondo.
These evictions also attracted the attention of the international media which was more or less taking the issue out of proportion, not knowing the origin of the matter.
As a matter of fact, the people who claim to have been brutally forced out knew that this was coming because they had been told years ago that the land was needed for activities that are more important.
In the first place, as it was clearly put by the President in last week’s press conference, the so-called victims had been compensated a long time ago, and actually most of their neighbours had relocated as soon as they were expropriated.
Some were compensated in kind, by getting houses in developing areas like Batsinda Estate, or they were given money to purchase land or houses in other places of their choice.
What Rwandans should know is that these evictions are not done to victimise anyone, because it is not in the interest of the government to do so. Rather, this should be seen as a positive initiative that all patriotic Rwandans have to support.
As the country leaps towards sustainable development, we should look clearly at issues that are more beneficial for the national good as opposed to individual, sentimental attachment.
Conceptualising issues of national development grows a better citizen and nationalist than the other who refuses to think in broader terms and decides to go individual.
Actually, one can even say with very good reason that the people who were compensated but refused to move and stayed on property that was no longer theirs, are tresspassers and getting off lightly by merely getting evicted.