Rights body to help expelled Rwandans regain property

The National Commission for Human Rights will help Rwandans, who were recently evicted from Tanzania, to get back property they left behind.
Returnees at Rusumo border. The national Commission for Human Rights will help them link up with their families. The New Times/File.
Returnees at Rusumo border. The national Commission for Human Rights will help them link up with their families. The New Times/File.

The National Commission for Human Rights will help Rwandans, who were recently evicted from Tanzania, to get back property they left behind.

The commission will also help in linking up families that separated in the commotion that characterised their expulsion in the past week.

 

Over 4,700 Rwandans who lived in Tanzania’s districts of Biharamuro, Ngara, Karagwe and Mureba since 1960s have so far been received after being expelled, some leaving their families behind.

 

Most of the affected are accommodated at Kiyanzi Transit Site in Kigarama sector, Kirehe district.

 

“We are going to investigate these matters with utmost urgency. After a week of investigations, we will immediately contact the human rights body of Tanzania to ensure your rights are preserved, especially concerning your lost property,” Madeleine Nirere, the chairperson of the National Commission for Human Rights told the returnees in Kirehe District on Tuesday.

Nirere commended the government for its swiftness in providing basic needs like healthcare and clean water for the returnees.

According to Nirere, the commission will deploy staff in Kirehe for at least a week to investigate cases of separated families and property loss.

Returnees cry out

Jean Minani, 53, who lived in Karagwe, said he left behind his Tanzanian wife with whom they had four children.

Another returnee speaking a mixture of Kiswahili and Kinyarwanda lamented that he left behind his businesses, farms, agricultural produce and family members with Tanzanian origin.

The director of refugee affairs in the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, Jean Claude Rwahama said there were no immediate statistics of returnees separated from their family members. 

He said the number of such cases will be known as the people concerned fill appropriate documents.

Tanzanian authorities last month gave Rwandans without what it termed as “valid residential documents” 14 days to leave the country, according to reports.

The first batch of returnees arrived in the country on August 5.

By press time, officials said at least 2000 of the returnees had been resettled and joined their families in different parts of the country.

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