Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Banque Populaire, Cogear headquarters to be razed

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Banque Populaire headquarters in downtown Kigali that will be razed to pave way for redevelopment. 
Several buildings in Kigali that do not fit in the new city master plan will be razed to the ground.

While unveiling a draft of the city’s next fiscal year performance contracts, the City of Kigali mayor Fidel Ndayisaba singled out Banque Populaire head office, opposite the Ministry of Finance, and Cogear Insurance Company branch, opposite St Michel.

“Banque Populaire head office is expected to be razed down to pave way for the construction of a bigger structure that is envisaged  in the city master plan,” mayor Ndayisaba said during a two-day council’s retreat at the weekend in Kigali.

“We have discussed with them, but negotiations are still ongoing so that they understand this need. The central bank also is aware of this.”

The plan will also see Petrocom filling station take the plot opposite the Roman Catholic Church, Saint Michel, thus displacing the military prosecution premises (auditorat militaire). 

According to the plan Cogear Insurance Company which is expected to start construction of their new building opposite Rwanda Broadcasting Corporation (former ORINFOR) will also be affected. 

Our efforts to get a comment from Banque Populaire and Cogear were futile by press time.

The developments are part of 12 mega construction projects expected to address housing challenges and push prices down as the city embarks on execution of the first phase of projects designed under the Central Business District (CBD area). 

Other projects in this category include the CHIC project according to which Matheus traders are erecting a multipurpose building in the former ETO Muhima plot with a structure expected to be completed next year.

Two commercial buildings will also be erected opposite Kigali Central Prison in an area formerly reserved for city bus park. This project, Downtown Development, is expected to change the place into a business centre that complements the Kigali city market (former Nyarugenge market).

Executive Investment at the former ORINFOR offices still under construction is also expected to have apartments next year. 

The City of Kigali offices are also set to relocate to City Hall (opposite the current office) before end of the year to pave away for the construction of Equity Holding building by Rwanda Public Procurement Authority. 

Work on the Kigali Heights Complex, in the former post office’s plot-Kacyiru, is also expected to start in the next fiscal year.  

Most of these projects consist of multipurpose buildings with apartments, shops and office space. 

City officials believe that this approach will make housing more affordable. 

 Many other construction projects are also envisaged, including the development of the long expected Gaculiro-Kagugu plots where RSSB will build over 5000 units.

“People should be patient; expropriation and new development always involves many activities and precautions to avoid committing errors,” said Ndayisaba. 

Cooperatives in Kigali are also upgrading their work place, with three shopping malls at Gisozi in Gasabo District and another project of MIG - Muhima Investment Group, among others. 

The latter consists of a shopping mall, by Nyabugogo investors to replace the Nyabugogo old market. 

The projects under plan for the next year will not be in the main city neighbourhoods, but spread to other places like Kigarama in Kucukiro District and Rutunga in Gasabo District.

A 54 km road network, a multi year project that starets next year, will also be built and Rwandex- Sonatube-Prince House road will be expanded in part to ease traffic jam. 

In social protection, the city is planning to build 20 housing units in Gasabo and 40 houses in Kicukiro and Nyarugenge districts for needy Genocide survivors.

To encourage use of local materials while reducing import of the very expensive iron sheets, all the houses availed by public entities to support the needy will be roofed with tiles made from clay. The same apply to the people relocating from  high risky zones.

Governance inspection

Meanwhile, through its councilors, the city will routinely carry out inspection to see how their services comply with Client’s Charter.

The inspection will examine suspicion of corruption and poor service delivery in services of procurement and one stop centre for construction permits delivery, according to the officials.

They will also inspect accountancy  procedures. 

The idea, according to city officials, is to encourage their offices to purchase what they can afford on time.

This inspection will also assess institutions in general. Concerned are district executive committees and sector technicians and development partners included in the joint action forum (JAF). 

Amongst the recommendations the councilors gave the CoK include planning for recreational places, like a zoo and artificial lakes.

“We are a growing city; with all those beautiful roads, nice buildings and businesses.  We should not forget people’s need to relax after a day’s business hussle,” said Dieudonn√©e Sebashongore, the president of the city council.

They also recommended joint efforts between the CoK and the Private Sector Federation to accomplish development tasks.

The councilors further called for follow up of expropriations to avoid delays in compensation.

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