The residents of Kanngondo slum commonly known as Bannyahe in Remera, Gasabo district adjacent to the premium residential neighborhood of Nyarutarama, have decided to push a court battle against the City of Kigali over the disputed community expropriation exercise.
In this repatriation exercise, an estimated 800 residents have been since 2017 asked to evacuate from the slum for a real estate investor to construct facilities of public and community interest.
In the compensation procedure, the community was supposed to be shifted to a newly constructed housing estate in Busanza, Nyarugunga sector, Kicukiro district – Kigali.
While some beneficiaries agreed to the deal, others sought legal arbitration procedures on grounds that the estate homes were not equivalent to their former property in the slum areas in which some had tenant houses.
The expropriation process ended up in a two-year court case from 2018- 2019 in which the citizens asked Gasabo Intermediate court to order the city of Kigali to compensate them financially or return their property.
However, on technical grounds of filing a collective case and suing the wrong authority, the Gasabo court ruled in favor of the city of Kigali asking over one thousand residents to vacate the Bannyahe neighborhood which is largely located in designated wetlands that also put the occupants into a high risk of losing lives.
After failing to win the earlier case, Jean de Dieu Shikama, a resident of Kangondo has filled a solo case against the city of Kigali seeking Rwf2.7m for delays in paying compensation after evaluating his property at Rwf54.2m.
The law requires that once a person’s property is evaluated for expropriation, the person must be paid within three months, while delays come with a 5% fine adding to the total cost of the property at the time of valuation.
“I am asking to regain my property rights. I want the court to order the City of Kigali to pay this compensation because of the delays which makes the project invalid,” Shikama said.
His plea comes with a separate compensation of Rwf5million and Rwf 1 million to respectively cover costs incurred in hiring a lawyer and preparation of the case, during the time when they were in court.
According to the case file received and signed by the City of Kigali, the city authorities will this Thursday, June 04, 2020, appear before the Nyarugenge Intermediate Court to hold a pre-trial conference – where both sides will present their legal arguments before going to trial.
On the same day, the city of Kigali will also face the other two Kangondo expropriation cases submitted to the same court by David Munyeshuri and Emmanuel Sayinkuye- who are also seeking compensation in cash.
According to reliable sources from the Kangondo, some of the citizens who were earlier on involved in this case have tentatively pulled out their intention to battle a court case.