Unfinished buildings eclipse development of Rubavu city
Written by: George Kalisa
Wednesday, May 16th, 2018, 11:30
The Achilles heel of Rwanda’s fastest growing city of Rubavu is the repelling and bad sight of unfinished buildings studded all over. Just in the heart of Rwanda’s resort city stands unfinished building on which fern is flourishing and animals like bats find it a useful habitat. These unfinished buildings that have become common human features on many streets obviously adulterate the beauty of Rubavu city.
The well planned city with a consumer market that induces a smile from all development minded Rwandan citizens and investors survives with a cancer of unfinished structures that highly compromise the secondary city’s view and image.
Residents of Rubavu who talked to The Light Magazine said they put their hands together for the district’s efforts to improve the road network of the city but they grumble about snail pace of the construction of particularly the district market.
A huge unfinished structure with neglected green surroundings standing in the heart of the city gazes at a very visitor and dwellers in serious lamentation of the circumstances that have led to its existence for now seven years.
The poor weather conditions including rains and scorching sun, this storied unfinished building has seen since the groundbreaking ceremony took place in 2010, has compelled it to change its colour to black and grey. A close look at it further shows it is suffering from erosional effects.
A senior officer at the district heaped blame on massive corruption by the former district executive committee of eight members, the Executive Secretary included, for which they were paid imprisonment by Rwanda’s clean and independent judiciary.
“On March 27, 2015 eight district officials were arrested mostly from the District Service Commission and a lands officer. Mr. Christopher Kalisa, who was by then, the Executive Secretary and the Executive Committee were convicted of having acted contrary to the law when they allegedly sold the district market to ABBA Constructors Ltd at a staggering of Rwf1.3 billion,” said Placide Hagenimana district Public Relations Officer (PRMCO) who spoke on behalf of the Vice Mayor in charge of Economic Development, Janvier Murenzi.
“The Executive Committee of the district did not follow a legal process in selling the district market to ABBA Constructors,” added Hagenimana.
ABBA Constructors who took over from where Rubavu District authorities had stopped in 2014. The district authorities told the courts up to the Supreme Court that ABBA Constructors had not paidthem a single penny in accordance to the contract that exists between the Contractor and the Rubavu District, Hagenimana revealed.
“The heart of the matter is that the law prohibits the Executive Committee of the district to do business,” addedHagenimana.
ABBA Constructors had promised to finish the remaining work within eight months if the parties involved never had never violated the contract they had entered.
Impeccable sources further saidthat Kalisa had formally written to the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) requesting the financial institution to extend a loan to ABBA to enable them pay the district, a request to which the said bank objected.
The district, however, sources said was cleared by the Supreme Court in its ruling, of the charges, an event which compelled the construction company to run to the country’s Ombudsman Office for justice. Hagenimanasaid that the case that had lingered on in courts of laws for years was finally resolved and construction of the market will resume soon.
This controversial central market whose construction stagnated has no completion date fixed by the district.
The taxi motor cyclist who gave a ride to the Rubavu district Headquarters on April 23, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, said.
“We are fed up of the thieving at the district, they collect a lot of tax revenues but we the tax payers are not benefitting at all. We lost hope and interest in them,” he said.
Hagenimana further said that it is quite unfortunate none of the previous district mayors had completed their terms in office. Rubavu District has had mayors coming and going and all the four never served up to the end of their terms. These include: Ramanzani Barengayabo, Twagirayezu Pierre Celestin, Hassan Bahame and Sinamenye Jeremie.
Currently, Mr. Gilbert Habyarimana is the district Mayor and so far so good for him. During his leadership the district has accomplished major development projects.
A good number of former Rubavu District Mayors, sources told this reporter that they resigned their responsibilities after being implicated in corruption scandals. For instance, Hassan Bahame was implicated in a corruption scandal involving three million Rwandan francs but the court had declared him innocent just before he tendered in his resignation.
This is the very incident that led to district Verification Officer [notaire] Judith Kayitesi plead guilty of accepting a Rwf3 million bribe earning her fours in jail. Kayitesi who accepted she received the bride alleged she had been instructed by Mayor Bahame.
The district market is not the only unfinished building in Rubavu city. There many scattered that have lost hope of being completed on nearly all the streets and the suburbs.