Occupants of land earmarked for expropriation in Kimicanga, Gasabo District have been accused of employing delaying tactics which have hampered the smooth running of the evaluation and compensation exercise.
According to Multi Construct Company, the firm contracted by Kigali City Council to conduct the evaluation and compensation study, the ‘hide and seek’ tactics by residents will now delay the property evaluation and compensation report that the city council expects in 2 months time.
Pierre Nyiringabo, the Director of Multi Construct Company which started work mid-last month revealed that residents in the area are complicating the exercise, which will likely fail the company to meet its contractual obligations of finishing the work in 3 months.
“In the first phase, we photographed building owners and indicated their houses with specific numbers and after successfully completing the exercise, the individuals photographed in the first phase as owners of certain buildings have disappeared” Nyiringabo revealed.
He added that with the initial owners disappearing, it becomes hard to take measurements of the area because he has to confirm the measurements while some residents intentionally disappear and close their houses to avoid the expropriation process.
It is also reported that some of the residents lack proper documentation of property ownership while cases of double ownership have also emerged, leading to delays in the exercise.
“It has become difficult for us to determine ownership of certain houses and property with lack of proper documentation and in some cases we have had to contact local leaders to identify property,” Nyiringabo complains further.
The problem mainly arises from cases of inheritance where children takeover their parents property but without all the necessary documents which may require involving local leaders to identify the true owners of the property which also requires a lot of time.
However some of the residents of Kimicanga The New Times spoke to, denied any deliberate intent to avoid the expropriation exercise but instead accused the company of working at inappropriate times.
Bosco Hategeka, one of the residents we spoke to, dismissed the allegations saying that residents proceed to work in the morning but not with intentions of dodging the exercise.
“People have to go for work in the morning while others have development projects to attend to. Is not possible to sit at home in the morning hours waiting for company workers to come and take measurements” argued Hategeka.
Residents in the area have also resorted to renovating and maintaining their houses in order to increase value.
Kimicanga, one of the areas earmarked for expropriation as part of the implementation of the Kigali City Master Plan has an approximately 492 landlords with 673 houses and the exercise is meant to evaluate the property in the area to compensate residents and resettle them in other residential parts of the city.