RWAMAGANA — Nine families in Gahengeri sector in Rwamagana District were last Friday evicted from a plot of land which they had allegedly occupied illegally after the genocide.
The district issued the eviction order on April 09, 2009 instructing the residents to vacate the area within 15 days.
The Sector Executive Secretary, Innocent Kwizera, who enforced the eviction order explained that the land belongs to one Theresa Uwingabe Bukuba who claims she inherited it from her father.
Scores of residents witnessed in disbelief as a kraal for exotic cows belonging one of the evictees, which had been erected on the land, was brought down.
“This is my father’s land and there is no body else with a right of its ownership. We left this place in 1973 when the politics were against us. This man had grabbed my father’s land, it is time for him now, to quit,” said Uwingabe.
Kwizera blamed the evictees, for not cooperating with the local authorities to end the land wrangle amicably.
However, one of the evictees, Francis Murerintwari, criticised the manner in which they were evacuated.
“Look at my cows and kraal! Everything is destroyed and I can see my cows dying any time. I do not know where I will go from here.
How do you order someone to shift in just 25 days?” he complained, adding that the decision was unfair.
Murerintwari insisted that he had bought his plot from one Laurent Semanza--who is currently facing genocide charges in the Arusha based International Court Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).
There are some controversies surrounding the eviction. First, some indigenous inhabitants say that Uwingabe’s father had indeed sold the land to Semanza.
And authorities actually, said the decision to give the land to Uwingabe is temporary, until they establish the rightful owner from Semanza.
Murerintwari owns 11 Friesian cows in fenced area, and a banana plantation.
The banana plantation, the sector leader said would be passed on to the new occupant, after one or two more harvests.