Residents decry rising cases of graft to get permits

Friday July 17 2020

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Bugesera district in recent years has seen a steady increase in demand for land following infrastructure development. Photo | Cyril NDEGEYA  

LEONCE MUVUNYI
By LEONCE MUVUNYI
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Residents of Bugesera district have raised red flag over increasing cases of corruption when seeking approval of house construction.

According to multiple sources, local officials ask for bribes on sites where the owners do not have valid construction permits.

Those who pay the bribes are allowed to proceed while those who fail face the wrath of the local officials. For instance, Alphonse Niyomugabo, a 28-year-old resident of Rilima sector in Bugesera district, alleged that local officials demolished his house after he refused to pay the bribe.

However, Richard Mutabazi, mayor of Bugesera district told Rwanda Today issuing of the construction permit has been eased.

“We do normally encourage people to go through the clean process because the construction permit is not expensive, and we always strive for better and quick services," said Mutabazi.

Currently, construction permit costs Rwf5, 000 Sources who spoke to Rwanda Today on condition of anonymity said they bribed local government officials with Rwf50, 000 and Rwf30, 000 to let their construction works continue.

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Chantal Mukandayisenga, a mother of seven in Rilima sector said local residents are forced to pay bribes because the process of getting valid construction permits in lengthy and costly.

ugesera district in recent years has seen a steady rise in demand for land following infrastructure development.

In Kinyinya sector, a Kigali suburb, 16 out of 22 local government officials have been expelled due to corruption. “You can’t build without giving out something to the local government officials.

In a very systematic way, you can pay up to Rwf200, 000, which could keep increasing as they keep asking more,” said Marie Jeanne Nyinawabega, a resident of Kinyinya sector of Gasabo district.

Bugesera district was yet to respond to our request to comment on the allegations for information by press time.

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