Society

Gasenyi: Evicted families return to presidential palace under construction

The evicted people remain with the only option to build huts in their former parcels

The evicted people remain with the only option to build huts in their former parcels

Four families live in the huts built near the new presidential palace under construction in Gasenyi I of Mutimbuzi commune in Bujumbura Province since the past three days. “We have nowhere to go”, says Joseph Ntahomvukiye, a father of five.

He says the host family was no longer able to feed them. “It is not easy to cater for two families in the same house”, says Ntahomvukiye. He says it is the reason why he and his family decided to return to the former place near the presidential palace.

“We are aware of the importance of the common interest works but we do not have anywhere to go. The government did not grant us compensation”, says Chantal Ntibazonkiza, a mother of three children.

She says the five room house she had was destroyed because it was located within the perimeter of the presidential palace under construction in Gasenyi. “We live in dire straits and my kids risk falling sick”, she says. In addition, she says, their children have given up their studies. “We spent several days in the streets, what made it impossible for them to keep attending classes”, she says.

Aimable Ndayiragije, another resident who was forced to leave the area, says he also plans to return to that place. “Our host families are unable to provide for us. Life is very expensive and we have nothing to contribute”, he says.

This father of seven children says the government must intervene. “They promised to compensate us but in vain. We call for the Head of State’s intervention to get us out of this situation”, says Ndayiragije.

On 11 April, a bulldozer destroyed 23 houses built in the 40 ha of the site of the presidential palace under construction in Gasenyi I of Mutimbuzi commune in Bujumbura province. The measure to evict the 23 households was executed by Nadine Gacuti, Provincial Governor, accompanied by an army of police officers. She said the administration had previously held consultations with the concerned persons before the demolition. “This is a project of common interest”, she said.