Modern housing: 500 more houses to be built

It’s midday. The sun is hot. But a group of 60 people are standing near a small house where the Rwanda Social Security Fund staff are crosschecking the amount each person is supposed to be paid.

It’s midday. The sun is hot. But a group of 60 people are standing near a small house where the Rwanda Social Security Fund staff are crosschecking the amount each person is supposed to be paid.

These are part of the 2,800 residents of Kinyinya sector who have been asked to leave their land, gardens and houses to allow the Social Security Fund construct modern houses in the area.

At least 565 houses ranging from medium standard, medium high standard and block (flats) are to be built.

But out of 10 people I talked to, only 2 had signed the documents showing that their properties were duly valued and priced accordingly.

Jamarie Wiragiye, one of the residents of Cyeru complained the rates they are being compensated at are low. 

“I had two houses, a kitchen and 2 acres of land on open market, I would have got Frw8 million, but the Social Security Fund is paying only  me Frw2 million,” Wiragiye said while shedding tears.

As I was still talking to him, a group of over 20 people surrounded me saying that they were not happy with the entire expropriation process.

One man, who identified himself as John Karisa alleges that he was forced to sign for the money against his will.

He claims his two-roomed-house was valued at only Frw800,000 yet he could earn more if he had sold it at the current market value.

“How can they value our properties using the 2005 or 2006 prices? Properties in the city are appreciating daily,” another person in the crowd was heard saying.

The residents have petitioned higher authorities to intervene to save their properties. 

They have written to the Local Government ministry, Lands ministry, Kigali City, Gasabo District and Kinyinya sector.

An official in the Social Security Fund said he was aware residents complained, however he called the complaints calling them baseless and unfounded meant to stall the modernisation process of Kigali City.

Instead of paying the residents Frw300  (government current compensation rate) per  square metre of land, residents got Frw1,000 per metre, this is three times more.

The Social Security Fund official said they are not forcing anybody to sign expropriation documents as alleged. Insisting they are following the 1996 expropriation procedure.

“For us we do not determine the price of properties as residents claim. Evaluators from Kigali City Council determine the price for each property.

And the price of each property is determined at market price,” Fred M. Rwihunda, the Social Security Fund’s Director of Real Estate said.

He was quick to say the protests have been instigated by negative forces sabotaging government programmes.  ‘‘We know there are people who are busy misleading others not to sign,” Rwihunda disclosed.

The Social Security Fund expects to invest Frw50 billion in compensating and construction of Gacuriro Estates phase 2.

The project will be carried out on 140 hectares of land.

It will cover six cells of Kinyinya sector in Gasabo District.
The project will cover the Cyeru, Kirira and Akanyabugabo areas. Others cells are Urubanda, Bishikiri and Agatare.

The project’s goal is to construct about 565 houses.  Ranging from medium standard, medium high standard and block (flats).

‘‘We are targeting to mortgage the houses to the public immediately after completion,” said Rwihunda.

After completing construction, they are planning to build a nursery and primary school, mult-purpose and shopping mall  at the estate.

The director says the project is projected to last 3 years. He adds that they have started the expropriation process has started.

Ends