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15% of Land in Gakenke District Illegally Owned

by KT Press Staff Writer
4:31 pm

This is a certificate provided to bonafide owner of registered land

Rwandans are advised to register their land and obtain certificates as proof that they own that land.

A land based investigation conducted by the Rwanda Initiative for Sustainable Development (RISD), has found that 15 percent of Rwandans only in Gakenke district do not care about land registration matters.

Most land disputes among family members have resulted into deaths in the last ten years.

RISD, is an initiative that aims at ensuring equitable access to land for peace, justice and economic stability.

The investigation was conducted from November last year under a pilot ICT4D (ICT for Development), a system that aids in mapping and monitoring land related disputes by enabling mediators(Abunzi) to file cases using smart phones unlike in the past when they had to fill files.

The pilot survey was conducted in 11 districts; Gasabo, Nyarugenge, Kicukiro, Kamonyi, Muhanga, Karongi, Musanze, Gakenke, Rubavu, Kirehe and Nyaruguru.

Along this project, RISD has discovered that only 85% in Gakenke district own registration certificates while 15% don’t think it is necessary as long as they have other supporting documents.

However, Justin Mimi the coordinator of RISD projects said others documents are useless since one has no legal certificate.

“Think again, other documents are useless you need to get the legal certificate otherwise ‘your land’ is not yours” said Mimi, adding that Rwandans should consult land Centers for any problem.

RISD has been supporting the land regularization program since 2007, and realized there is an increase of land related disputes.

According to Land Dispute Assessment Report and Toolkit, a report released in 2014 by USAID/Rwanda chapter showed there was increased dispute over land inheritance and land gifts (Umunani)

According to Agriculture ministry, Rwanda has 1.4 million hectares of arable land.  Rwanda has an area of 26 thousands square kilometers. The national land center has about 11 million registered parcels of land.