Monday, February 16, 2015

News: Huye residents urged to settle disputes at community level

Residents of Karama Sector in Huye District have been told to try solving cases at community level instead of dragging wrangles to conventional courts of law, which consume a lot of money and time.
Addressing the residents last week, Africa Karake, the complaints investigations officer at the Office of the Ombudsman, said the other important advantage of communally solving disputes, is that it fosters cohesion in the community.

Karake was speaking as officials from the Office of the Ombudsman visited the sector to sensitise people against corruption and how better they can work locally to solve some of the issues affecting them.

The event also helped the officials receive complaints from the grassroots, where the majority of the cases brought up were land-related.

Other cases involved Gacaca cases that were adjudicated but property or reparations were not given to those entitled.

Jean Damascene Ruzindana won a property case before Gacaca court, but years later, he is yet to be compensated for the property lost during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

“There is a person living in a house whose doors were looted from my home during the Genocide, there are other people who destroyed my house but I only got Rwf75,000 of the Rwf1,602,000 the Gacaca court awarded me in damages,” Ruzindana said.

Karake said unlike in the past where a convict paid out of goodwill, the law today is the rule.
“The property of the person who owes compensation can be attached and auctioned in case they are not willing to pay,” Karake said.

This financial year, districts targeted for outreach activities by the Office of the Ombudsman include Gatsibo, Muhanga, Nyanza, Huye and Nyabihu.


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