Idle properties abandoned by developers and or owners are set to be auctioned, a decision to go into effect by August 2017. The Ministry of Justice revealed this on Thursday during a consultative meeting with district committees recently assigned to manage abandoned properties.
The move follows countrywide census which established that some abandoned properties are not used until they become mere residuals.
“We are fast tracking implementation of the decision not later than August 2017. These properties include old houses or pieces of land with no buildings.Their value will be assessed before being auctioned. Buyers will be required to raise buildings complying with the master plan,” said MINIJUST director in charge of abandoned properties, Musabire Jean Damascène.
Members of the committee in charge of managing abandoned properties have been urged to be watchful to maximize benefits because such properties may become dens of people threatening security in some cases.
The country has registered 1145 properties abandoned by owners comprising of 466 houses, 24 land units reserved for construction activities, 555 pieces of arable land, 18 farm lands and 88 forest patches.
Only 118(10.30%) of the above properties are rented with some in Kigali city and tea plantations in Gicumbi district among others.
Commenting on 10.30% of used among 1145 abandonedproperties, the Minister of Justice, Johnston Busingye said the percentage is not critical because most of used properties are located in the city.
“I would like to let you know that 10% of such properties are located in cities while 90%is used for growing maize, sweet potatoes and banana plantations. In fact they are properties people decline to buy," he said.
Minister Busingye requested people from rural areas to make census and register such abandoned properties to facilitate follow up to avoid conflicts in the future.
Movable or immobile properties are classified as abandoned in case owners passed away without lawful heirs or being outside the country for various reasons without delegating a custodian.
The law No. 39/2015 of 22/08/2015 abandoned property stipulates that such properties have to be managed by the government represented by the Ministry of Justice until rightful owners are identified.
The law also indicates that MINIJUST can propose a custodian or heir after confirmation from village advisory committee where the property is located.
Abandoned properties become government assets in case no one rightfully claims ownership.
A total of 14 abandoned properties have been handed back to rightful owners in Gasabo district and 5 others in Nyarugenge district.