Premises of Nyarugenge Prison commonly known as “1930” will be free for bidding by May this year after the completion of relocation of inmates to the newly completed Mageragere prison.
Since February 2017, Rwanda Correctional Service (RCS) started relocating 3,000 male inmates from “1930” Prison, located in Kigali City Center, to the newly constructed prison at Magerere in Nyarugege District.
“We still have around 500 female inmates in that prison, but we shall complete the relocation by May this year since their wing is almost ready,” Spokesperson Hilary Sengabo, told KT Press.
Sengabo said that the land where Nyarugenge Prison is located belongs to the City of Kigali and, the city will put it to good use after RCS hands it over.
In April 2016, Monique Mukaruriza, the then Kigali City Mayor told KT Press that the prison could be turned into a museum.
“It is a government facility. When the inmates relocate, we shall turn it into a museum,” she said.
Alphonse Umulisa, former Director General of Institute of National Museums of Rwanda also told KT Press that the ‘1930’ Museum would contribute much to tourism.
“The same way Germans’ history in Rwanda is exhibited at Kandt House; this prison will also help exhibit Belgians’ history in Rwanda,” he said.
While the natural history Museum-Kandt House was the first modern house by Germans in Kigali, the nearby Kigali Central Prison was the first modern house by Belgians in Kigali.
Meanwhile, Kigali City authorities had previously expressed the idea of turning 1930 into a heritage hotel City authorities would to find developers once the prison is vacated.
“Actually the City of Kigali is not engaged into such construction projects. We are waiting for the facility to be ready so that we start looking for potential investors who can propose their projects,” Bruno Rangira, the City of Kigali Spokesperson said.
Rangira however said, the process may take time since it will need to follow all procedures of transferring the land from central government to local government property before selling it to a private developer.
Apparently, there is no speculation about the investor who will own the 1930 facility. According to Rangira, during inauguration of Champions Investment Corporation(CHIC) at Muhima last year, shareholders requested president Paul Kagame to give them the plot, and he accorded it them.
“We requested them to submit a project proposal,” Rangira said.
According to Kigali City master plan, four premises including Sainte Famille Catholic Church, Matheus Commercial Centre, and Nyarugenge Prison – 1930 were gazetted as heritage sites.
Refurbishment to bring them to the international conservation standards is underway.
Rangira said that other areas are already being rehabilitated to serve the purpose and they are still waiting for the Kigali Central Prison to be ready so that the rehabilitation work begins.