Rwanda: Why Government Extended Land Registration Deadline

23 January 2020

Rwanda Land Management and Use Authority (RLMUA) has extended the deadline for land registration from January 15, 2020 to June 30, 2020, citing various factors that led many to miss the initial deadline.

In the announcement, the Authority said the extra time came after realising that the land that was registered within the initial three-month period was more than 72,500 plots, which is far less than over 1.47 million plots of land that are not yet recorded.

Of such land which is not yet registered to their respective owners, a large part is found in Southern Province with more than 497,000 plots, followed by Western Province which accounts for over 393,000 plots.

Northern Province comes in third position with more than 297,000 plots, Eastern Province with above 253,000 plots, while the City of Kigali of Kigali has slightly over 30,000 plots.

The Authority explained that the challenges that hindered the progress include requests of people who indicated difficulties they faced in line with meeting the requirements to register their land.

"There are many reasons that prevented many people from registering land such as being far from the location of the land, the fear to pay land tax, and lack of money to get the 'fiche cadastrale' - official property ownership justification document," Esperence Mukamana, Director-General of Rwanda Land Management and Use Authority told The New Times.

The Authority advised all concerned people to submit their relevant documents requesting for land registration to land officer at the sector in which their plot is located.

They issued a fresh warning that if the new deadline is missed, the land in question will be considered government property.

Respect new deadline

The body issued a stern warning all people who have unregistered land should have it recorded within the set deadline. Otherwise, the unregistered land will be taken as property without owners, hence be considered the property of the Government.

Article 20 of the law governing land in Rwanda which was enacted in June 2013 states that registering land is mandatory for anyone (who owns it).

Talking about the effects of not recording land, Mukamana said "it is derailing economic development, investment, and provoking conflicts in families."

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