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From unplanned settlement to new housing development in Kigali city: the case study of Amahoro cell, Muhima sector


par John MUGISHA
National University of Rwanda - Bachelor's degree 2011
  

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4.4.2 Perception on expropriation process and relocation

According to the law relating to expropriation in public interest no. 18/2007 of 19/04/2007, expropriation is carried out by the government only in public interest and with prior and just compensation. No person shall hinder the implementation of the program on pretext of self centered justifications. No land owner shall oppose any underground or surface activity carried out on his or her land with an aim of public interest. In case it causes any loss to him or her, he or she shall receive just compensation for it.

Depending on this law, the researcher had an objective (among other objectives) of assessing residents' views on expropriation and their willingness to resettlement once the government need to acquire their land for development in public interest. Residents have different views on new housing development taking place in Kigali city. Some residents say that the new housing development intends to evict them since they are poor and cannot build houses with the required minimum standards (see table 6 below). However the majority of these with fear of eviction are tenants. Others have the view that once the government takes their land for new development, they will be compensated and find elsewhere to establish new homes in the city. The majority with this view are land owners who think that when given just compensation they can build or buy new comfortable and affordable houses in another residential area established by the city council.

The remaining percentage of interviewed residents said that they hope to get a new decent house once the government acquires their land for new development in public interest. Residents with this view are those with poor houses on a very small plot of land who think that compensation from their properties cannot allow them buy or build a new house in the city. So, according to them, the relevant authorities should take their land showing them a ready new house to occupy.

Table 6: Residents' perception on implementation of KCMP

Question

Response

frequency

How do you think the implementation of KCMP will affect you?

Will evict me

47

Will expropriate me

33

Provide me a decent house

20

Total

100

Source: Household survey, 2011

According to the expropriation carried out in Ubumwe cell and in some other parts of Kigali city, some expropriated persons were assisted to get new houses constructed by Kigali city council in collaboration with other housing partners. Batsinda housing estate established by Kigali city council in partnership with Rwanda Social Security Board and Rwanda Housing Bank to receive expropriated persons from Ubumwe cell were resettled.

However, not all of them went to Batsinda because some of them were not satisfied with the size, location and standard of the houses in Batsinda. To know what residents of Amahoro cell would prefer if susceptible to relocation, they were asked whether they would accept compensations for their properties alone and look for other houses for themselves, compensations and a serviced plot so that they can construct a house of their choice or be compensated and assisted to get a new subsidized house which they would pay in installments. The chart below shows their responses.

Figure 6: Residents' preferences if susceptible to relocation

Source: Household survey 2011

As it is obvious in the chart above, a half of the respondents (50%) need to be assisted to get a new house instead of giving compensations for their properties alone. The reason they put forward is that they are poor and have poor quality of houses which would be compensated little money that can only buy a plot of land without a house. They also added that compensation prices are low while the prices of houses and plots increase as the demand increases. The following chart reveals residents' judgments on the expropriation prices in Kigali city.

Figure 7: Residents' perception on expropriation prices in Kigali city

Source: household survey 2011

Kigali city land commission approved Kigali expropriation prices in July 2008 (see Annex 3) which were used when expropriating Ubumwe cell residents and are still applied to date. Unfortunately the prices on the land and housing market increase frequently. This seemingly fixed price does not favor expropriated persons because they cannot easily get an equivalent plot of land and be able to construct a new building especially for the already poor residents.

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