Monday, July 16, 2012

Gov’t to sensitize public about Land transfer procedures

Emmanuel Nkurunziza

Rwandans need to be sensitised about the formal procedures of land transfers in the country, says Emmanuel Nkurunziza, the Director General of Rwanda Natural Resources Authority (RNRA).

He made the remarks this week in an interview with The Sunday Times.

“We have finished registering land and the next stage is to carry out awareness and communication to enable the public understand the proper procedures of land transfer if they want to transfer their land from one person to another,” he said.

The land registration process that was completed last month saw 10.3 million parcels registered countrywide. Out of this, 10,600 families involved in land wrangles were recorded.

Most of the land conflicts are largely among family members who failed to agree on sharing land especially in polygamous families.

“We have come to realise that people don’t know proper procedures of land transfers. They sell their parcels to others and forget to sign a transfer agreement at the office of the land notary,” Nkurunziza noted.

He stated that, if people want to transfer their land, they are required to sign a transfer agreement at the office of the land notary who is the district land officer. Basing on that form; the land body would be in position to change ownership from one person to another.

The awareness campaign will focus on explaining to the public how to transfer their land after a transaction, get land titles, and transfer from the original holder to the new one among others.

Land demarcation and adjudication was supposed to end by June this year while the issuing of land titles is set to end by December 2013.

People who want to transfer their land; pay a notarisation fee of Rwf 20,000 but the land body wants to see the fee scraped or reduced.

“We are working out a model where we can exempt some people from this fee or reduce it to make sure it is commensurate to the value of the property that has been transacted,” said Nkurunziza.

In 2004, the government enacted an organic law on land to guarantee a safe and stable form of land tenure. Prior to that, the country never had a proper land policy.

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