Residents of Gitega village, Ndoranyi cell of Mudende sector, Rubavu district, have expressed worries over the decision of building a model village at a yard where remains of relatives, genocide victims are buried.
Officials from the district official visited the sector last week and took survey and demarcation of 20 hectares where the district will build a model.They asked residents to stop tilling their gardens.
The development was revealed few days after the mayor of Rubavu district visited Mudende residents where he told them that rehabilitating the road and connecting households to electricity required building a model village where people from disaster prone zones will be resettled.
The decision has stirred worries among residents who told IGIHE that building the model village will have negative consequences especially where some genocide victims are buried in the demarcated site.
“We retrieve bones of genocide victims almost every year in these gardens. Many Tutsi from Bigogwe military camp were killed and buried here. I am worried the model village may be built on top of our buried relatives,” said Ugiruwe Boniface, a genocide survivor from Mudende sector.
Residents are also annoyed with the decision of building a model village in their gardens on which they survive through agriculture and animal husbandry.
“We were surprised by the decision. We were called in a meeting with the mayor. He said that people ask him for electricity connections and a road which he said will be availed along with a model village to be built in our gardens,” he said.
The executive secretary of Western Province, Jabo Paul said residents should not worry of the model village since they will earn many benefits out of it.
“Rubavu district has selected this sector to host model development activities which will b expanded. There will be schools, electricity and health centers among others,” he said.
Jabo Paul explained that the project is good and local leaders should effectively communicate changes to residents.
“The problem is the way the program was communicated. Citizens have to be told earlier before any changes to have a good understanding, embrace these changes, know how changes are meant for their benefit,” he said.