Rwanda’s Minister of Defence Gen. James Kabarebe has told Reserve Forces’ company that has ventured into real estate that they gave what the country expects them to.
Gen. Kabarebe made this statement while inaugurating 23 fully furnished affordable houses at Kabuga Gako Farmers, in Masaka sector, Kicukiro district on Thursday.
The houses were constructed by ‘Abadahigwa ku Ntego’, a company of Rwanda Reserve Forces – a subsidiary of Kigali Veterans Cooperative Society (KVCS) and financed by Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD).
The four-bedroom houses are valued at Rwf 28 Million per unit, but collaboration between contractors, City of Kigali and Rwanda Housing Authority made it possible to sell the houses at Rwf 18 Million – which is a reduction of 35.2% from full cost of the house.
Gen. Kabarebe said the housing project is a success story of the community working closely and cooperating with the Reserve Forces as a single entity.
“Every Rwandan is a reserved force, within the national reserves system. This is what being a reserved force means – not being active in the armed forces but when your contribution is needed you are handy and available,” Gen. Kabarebe said.
The project was a clear indication that the Reserve Forces kept in mind instructions they were given twenty five years ago, at the start of liberation struggle.
The Defence Minister referred to a speech President Paul Kagame made during the liberation struggle in 1992, that the army was the foundation of the party – Rwanda Patriotic Front Inkotanyi.
He said Reserve Forces kept that in mind and they tirelessly work towards being a real foundation of country’s development.
“You remained devoted and focused which is a good legacy in our country’s development,” the Minister said, also referring to statements made at the first batch of Reserve Forces in 1997 when reserve forces said they will serve the country until their last breath.
Meanwhile, Gen. Kabarebe proposed that in future, proprietors are not expropriated because when they get money, they are tempted to spend it irresponsibly and then go to build slums.
“Find a formula that can help them own houses from their land, it will help to safeguard the city, otherwise they will spend the money and end up in slums,” Gen. Kabarebe said.
The project was commended for employing the vulnerable including women and young people that graduated from Iwawa rehabilitation centre.
RDB, Kicukiro district and other partners pledged to keep supporting such projects that help the homeless to own affordable houses.
Willy Rukundo ,the head of ‘Abadahigwa ku Ntego’, said that so far 13 of the houses have been fully purchased by Rwandans.
Ten other houses were also booked and future proprietors are in the process of negotiating with banks for mortgage loans.
One of the beneficiaries said that the outlook, furnishing and location of the houses is relatively cheaper and affordable compared to the actual cost of one taking an initiative to construct their own house.
“I spent years looking for where to build a house in Kigali, but it was expensive. The value of the house is way cheaper than what I would spend. This is a jackpot,” one of the beneficiaries said.
In July Rwanda will set up a multi-million dollar fund “Affordable Housing Fund” with an initial investment of $200 million.
The fund will be facilitating financial institutions to lend at relatively cheaper interest rate and for a long term and bring down the cost of these houses.