Fina Bank in city house auction row

A family of three in Kigali has petitioned the Supreme Court to intervene in a house dispute involving Fina Bank.
The house under dispute. The New Times/Timothy Kisambira.
The house under dispute. The New Times/Timothy Kisambira.

A family of three in Kigali has petitioned the Supreme Court to intervene in a house dispute involving Fina Bank.

The trio accuses Fina Bank of illegally auctioning their two-storey commercial house number 345,  located in Nyarugenge, Quartier Matheus, between the Nyarugenge market and City Plaza House. 

 

The house was reportedly acquired by late Vedaste Rubangura in an auction in February 2000 at over Rwf 95m.

 

The family of one Ephron Nshimyumuremyi had acquired a loan of Rwf 25 million from BACAR, [now Fina Bank] and staked two houses located in Kicukiro district and Gasabo district respectively. 

 

But it failed to pay back the loan after it accumulated to Rwf55 million. 

However, court heard that in an attempt to recover its money, the bank, through a state notary, sold off another house belonging to the client which was not indicated in the loan agreement.

The State notary [Etienne Mutabazi] ignored the two houses indicated as collateral while auctioning the property to recover Fina Bank’s money, court heard.

The houses which were offered as collateral are number 118, located in Kicukiro and Number 778,  located in Kimihurura-Gasabo.

The auctioned house had been acquired through BCR mortgage with only a balance of Rwf 2 million to reimburse, according to the complainants.

The state notary is also accused of forging court order 478/99 allowing him to sell the house on behalf of Fina Bank. 

The plaintiffs therefore requested court to void the auction because it did not follow the procedures and it concerned a wrong property.

They also want Fina Bank to pay them  damages of over Rwf300m in lost rent fees since the beginning of the case, considering that the five rooms, two apartments and two stores are rented at Rwf600,000 per month. The case started in 2004.

The other option is for the bank to buy the house at Rwf600 million.

The trio also wants the State and the notary award them with Rwf25 million each for their mistakes in the auction procedures.

In their defence, however, both the assistant deputy attorney Alphonse Sebazungu, representing the State in the trial, and the notary’s lawyer, said Fina Bank had proved the house had been offered as security to it. 

The bank insisted that they entrusted the state with the auctioning and they are not to blame if the procedures in the auction process were wrong.

The Rubangura family denies any wrongdoing, saying they responded to an auction to purchase the house. Court set May 10 for the ruling.

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