Property and land disputes dominated President Kagame’s first day of his tour in the western and southern provinces that kicked off in Ruhango district, Southern province.
During a question and answer session on Thursday, residents in the Ruhango district raised concern over injustice due to unresolved land disputes involving family members and allegations of ‘powerful members’ influencing decisions.
Among four questions he received, two were about land and property conflicts.
President Kagame referred the queries to grassroots leaders and institutions in charge and promised they would be addressed.
According to the National Public Prosecutions Authority, property litigations are among the most common cases in Rwandan civil courts.
Despite efforts like property law reform and land tenure regularization programmes, both aiming at creating a land registry to help Rwandans claim land titles through valid land transactions, land and property queries have often been dominant in citizen outreach events.
Land and property issues raised are about fraudulent ownership, family queries, and court cases about properties that have burdened families for years.
A report by the Auditor General in 2021 indicated that 34,984 land titles were submitted for correction as they contain significant errors.
According to the audit, the most affected were land parcels allocated to thousands of vulnerable families but were never facilitated to register the property in their own names.
The issue of high insurance premiums paid by motorcyclists was also raised as they say the cost of doing business has become too high to make a profit.
This comes after Motor taxi operators in the capital Kigali staged protests in January this year over high fare meter charges and insurance premiums hike, saying this has caused business losses.
“...The cost has risen so high we can hardly make any profit. We would like for the price to be reduced,” said Piere Hakorimana, a motorcyclist and resident of Ruhango district.
President Kagame tasked the Minister of Infrastructure to respond who communicated that several stakeholders including the central bank and insurance companies have deliberated on the issue, and pledged to resolve it within two months.
Other issues raised included the high cost of transport incurred by local exporters.
President Kagame will next visit Nyamagabe on Friday as part of the Citizen Outreach Program. He is also expected to visit Nyamasheke and Karongi in Western Province where he will have interactions with ordinary citizens mainly focused on local government service delivery.