Media entrepreneur, real estate mogul feud over city land

Aflink Media, one of the small businesses operating in the country is embroiled in a bitter feud with a real estate mogul over a small plot of land on which a mega bill board stands.
A fence thought to have been erected by Nsengiyumva that is enclosing  Aflink’s digital Billboard (In the background). Athan Tashobya.
A fence thought to have been erected by Nsengiyumva that is enclosing Aflink’s digital Billboard (In the background). Athan Tashobya.

Aflink Media, one of the small businesses operating in the country is embroiled in a bitter feud with a real estate mogul over a small plot of land on which a mega bill board stands.

The bill board, located at Gishushu junction along the Airport Road, is an electronic advertising facility that attracts a wide range of clients.

The billboard, however, may be no more after a real estate developer – Albert Nsengiyumva – claims the land was given to him by the same local authorities who issued Aflink with the go-ahead to erect the billboard.

“We are complaining about Nsengiyumva encroaching on our property which has affected our business because we cannot upload any more adverts from our clients,” said Paul Bakuru, the proprietor of Aflink Media.

Nsengiyumva is thought to be in the process of developing the plot of land located between the Parliament and the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) headquarters, along the Gishushu-Nyarutamara road.

Aflink is a local media company dealing in outdoor advertising, among other media-related businesses.

“Our billboard is outside the demarcated areas belonging to Parliament and him (Nsengiyumva). If nothing changes then we shall go to the courts of law,” said Bakuru, adding that the land where the billboard is planted was given to him under the directives of Gasabo District and the Kigali City Authority.

Yesterday, The New Times visited the place, where the digital billboard is located and found workers erecting a fence enclosing Nsengiyumva’s plot and Aflink’s billboard.

When contacted, Nsengiyumva, said the district is supposed to resolve the issue.

“I don’t know Bakuru, why would I have a problem with someone I do not know?” Nsengiyumva asked.

During a phone interview, Jean Claude Munara, the Gasabo District vice mayor in charge of Economic Affairs said the district is looking into the matter and will soon call the two businessmen for a round table discussion.

“The billboard was erected in a wrong place. The district will solve the matter amicably,” Munara said.

However, Bakuru said there is no other means of solving the issue without allowing him access to his billboard.

“We (Aflink Rwanda) have the authorisation letter from Gasabo with the Public private partnership clause. We have signed about six annual contracts with the district, and we have other ongoing contracts with our private clients. If we move to another place, we will lose our clients,” he said.

Bakuru insists his company’s billboard is situated between the Parliament and Nsengiyumva’s plots even though the accused has decided to encroach and include it in his plot.

Article 29 of the Constitution indicates that every person has a right to private property, whether personal or owned in association with others.

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