Man Recovers Multi-Million Family Estate After 20 Years


A Rwandan living in Texas, US, was on Tuesday handed back family property worth Rwf500 million, after 20 years of "reluctance and anxiety to seek justice." On Tuesday, a money-making fuel station located in the resort town of Gisenyi was received by Janvier Busogi.

Busogi's family had since lost touch with some of his family members and moved to the US in the wake of the 1994 Genocide. He's considered heir and the son of the late Mathias Nyagasaza, a former businessman who dealt before 1994 in oil products.

In 1993, a business called ERP (Entreprise Rwandaise de Petrole) went into liquidation and the then authorities sold some of its property to various people through public auctions. Busogi's family bought two petrol stations at that time among other properties. After the Genocide, he says, ERP took back Busogi's family property and sold it to a third party.

On Tuesday, a money-making fuel station located in the resort town of Gisenyi was received by Janvier Busogi.

The family tried to retrieve the two disputed petrol stations in 2004 but with little success, despite a local court ordering ERP to hand over properties in question back to Busogi's family.Before the property could be recovered by him Nyagasaza died in 2011,.

"Afterwards, while in the US, we heard that those very people had taken over our property again... in fact, I petitioned President Paul Kagame in 2011 during Rwanda Day Chicago occasion, to help me and others who had similar issues, but we were afraid of returning home to reclaim our lost property. He promised to help if I came back to Rwanda, but I was still frightened," Busogi said.

Busogi and his siblings have been doubtful about returning to Rwanda to recover their property due to rumours that they'd be "killed" if they ever tried to return home, he said. "I never knew I 'd regain the family property. Now, I decided to come to visit Rwanda and gauge the scenario and some leaders motivated me to try and reclaim our property.

"I gave it a try, and here I 'm, I 've recovered our property in a period of less than the usual month"! he exclaimed.

The petrol station, located in the heart of Rubavu town, was handed over to Busogi. It is one of the properties which belonged to his late father Nyagasaza.

Negative propaganda
But why did it take him so long to return home, however he had no direct involvement in the Genocide?

"People would tell us that we'd be killed once we stepped on Rwandan soil. It is been rough residing abroad with little hope of returning to your home country as well as retrieving what legally belongs to you personally.

"Due to such propaganda against the authorities," he says, "I was at some point compelled to join negative forces that are against the government. But after you return home, you realise that all the false information they say about Rwanda is only designed to make abroad despise our nation," Busogi added.

He said that there were many Rwandans living abroad who have fallen victim to the propaganda that was negative. The negative powers have one purpose, he says: "To make people despise their nation and not wish to return home, and they would like to enlarge their sympathiser base to ensure that they don't feel isolated".

Busogi is not yet been handed over the whole estate, but regaining the Gisenyi- he says, mirrors the possibility of regaining other family properties, including a plot of land in Rubavu and another petrol station in Kigali city.

The Mayor of Rubavu District, Jeremie Sinamenye, upon giving Busogi the property title, said the rule of law and responsibility governs Rwanda. "The truth will always hold; Rwandans now believe in truth and what the law provides for. To those who keep saying negative things about Rwanda yet they've never been here since 1994, they should maybe visit the state and see for themselves," Sinamenye said.

Busogi says he will not seek compensation over unlawful renters

"All I wanted was to be sure that I will return home, recover our lost assets, and I'm planning to come back with my family and stay in Rwanda eternally. This really is where I belong".

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