Burundi government evicts settlers without compensation to find new shelter

Published by Théophile Niyitegeka
On 14 April 2017 saa 09:56
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Residents evicted by the Government say they are going to live in the street following the destruction of their homes on Tuesday before they were given any kind of compensation that would allow them get new shelters.

The evacuation concerned 23 houses built in on the north-east outskirts of Bujumbura the capital near the location of the presidential palace under construction in Gasenyi area.

"We are being unjustly treated because we have not received any compensation", said one woman in extreme emotion. She hopes, however, the President will have pity on their children that are being forced to drop out and wander in the street.

The residents, who own the land they lived on, had for long lived in worry about compensation since the measure to evacuate them was taken. But the officials unconvincingly reassured them they would deal with their case properly.

The Governor of Bujumbura, Nadine Gacuti, alongside officials of the ministries of Environment and Public Works who were present to supervise the demolition on Tuesday, promised compensation, again. "The government will not be unable to find new plots for only 23 households", said the Governor.

"It’s hard to believe those people even if they represent the Government", said Emmanuel Bizimana, a resident who was affected by the measure. "We are going to live in the street while waiting for the promised plots", he added.

The Governor told the residents to shelter at the office of Mutimbuzi commune while waiting for their problem to be resolved.

The demolition was secured by the police.

According to the law, compensation precedes evacuation.