It was a scene of anger as a bulldozer pulled down a commercial complex belonging to late City tycoon Gaspard Milimo, bringing to an end a multi-million family investment.
The family of late Milimo cried and watched helplessly as this massive family property was knocked down into rubble within minutes.
It will never be the same again.
“This demolition is illegal,” said Gahongayire Winfred, the widow to late tycoon Gaspard Milimo.
She added that since 2005 the family has been battling a case against a directive by the City authority to demolish this prime commercial complex.
After a long legal battle trying to secure the safety of family property, the court ruled that the demolition should not be implemented.
“Kigali city claimed that the commercial complex was built in a swamp and was also within the banks of Mpazi River,” Gahongayire said on Friday.
According to Gahongayire, the court instructed Kigali city to build protective walls for the river and that the commercial complex be left standing.
The court also instructed Kigali city to pay Milimo family Rwf127 million including compensation of Rwf40million.
She explained that Kigali city paid the cash as instructed by the court. However, the city refused to adhere to another court ruling; not to demolish the complex, “today they started demolishing the building.”
Government of Rwanda has listed over 7,200 structures built in gazetted wetlands across Kigali city. Some of these structures were built legally and have been in these zones for decades.
Milimo’s shopping complex is located in downtown Kigali city Nyabugogo, prone to massive floods whenever it rains.
According to government, 13% of the land area in Kigali must be wetlands; which have been encroached on for years.
Although Milimo’s structure was legally built, the measures for environmental protection have been in place for many years.
However, implementation has been a daunting task for the government.
Last year, Paul Muhozi, a residential house owner in Nyabugogo, where his grandparents lived for decades had to finally let go.
“My parents lived here and gave me this land as inheritance,” he said, adding “you cannot imagine how painful it feels to destroy your own houses on which you spent millions,” Muhozi recounted his pain.
Meanwhile, Kigali city also announced in 2011 that all houses built in high risk zones would be pulled down to prevent loss of lives in case of heavy rains and mudslides.
Houses targeted include those in Kimisagara sector of Nyarugenge district.
Most of the houses in this densely populated part of the city are perched on Mount Kigali and on its foot, are in critical condition.
According to Nyarugenge district, all houses that were built without permission would be demolished with the aim of streamlining and fulfilling the Kigali City Master Plan.
Chinese Companies Win Tender to Construct Railway From Mwanza to Isaka
The Standard Gauge Railway from Mwanza to Isaka in neighbouring Tanzania will be constructed by two Chinese Companies that have won a lucrative tender for this job.
Prof. Palamagamba Kabudi Tanzania’s foreign minister said on Thursday during a presser on the eve of the Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi’s two-day visit to Tanzania.
The Mwanza-Isaka railway stretch will cover a distance of 341 kilometres and construction is estimated to cost TShs3 trillion will be handled by China Civil Engineering Construction (CCEC) and China Railway Construction Company (CRCC).
The Tanzanian government through the Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC) is constructing a 2,561Km SGR network that links Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Kigoma, Katavi and neighboring countries of Rwanda, Burundi Uganda and DRC.
The over Sh7 trillion project is being implemented in phases with the first round covering 202km between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro, was initially scheduled to be ready by November 2020 but heavy rains disrupted construction works.
Construction of the first and the second phase is being undertaken by Turkish construction company, Yapi Markez.
The first phase will have six main stations at Dar es Salaam, Pugu, Soga, Ruvu, Ngerengere and Morogoro, with the Dar es Salaam and Morogoro stations being the largest.
The second phase which is under implementation involves 422km between Morogoro and Makutupora in Singida with the project set to be completed within 36 months at a cost of $1,924 billion.
The railway is East Africa’s fastest and will use electricity to move trains will travel at 160km per hour and transport 10,000 tonnes of freight which is equivalent to 500 cargo trucks.
Upon completion, the SGR project is expected to payback the investment value after 15 years.
In October 2020, Tanzania government signed $60 million (about Sh138 billion) contract with a South Korean firm to supply trains for the standard gauge railway (SGR).
Trump Attacks Election Integrity As Biden Nears 270 Electoral College Votes
President Donald Trump is testing how far he can go in using the trappings of presidential power to undermine confidence in this week’s election against Joe Biden, as the Democrat contender gained ground in tight contests in some key battleground states.
With his pathway to re-election appearing to shrink, Trump has advanced unsupported accusations of voter fraud to falsely argue that his rival was trying to seize power. Thursday’s moves amounted to an extraordinary effort by a sitting American president to sow doubt about the democratic process.
“This is a case when they are trying to steal an election, they are trying to rig an election,” Trump said from the podium of the White House briefing room.
The president’s remarks deepened a sense of anxiety in the U.S. as Americans enter their third full day after the election without knowing who would serve as president for the next four years.
His statements also prompted a rebuke from some Republicans, particularly those looking to steer the party in a different direction in a post-Trump era.
Electoral college magic number
Neither candidate has reached the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House. But Biden eclipsed Trump in Wisconsin and Michigan, two crucial Midwestern battleground states, and has been inching closer to overtaking the president in Pennsylvania and Georgia, where votes are still being counted. It remains unclear when a national winner will be declared after a long, bitter campaign dominated by the coronavirus and its effects on Americans and the national economy.
On Wednesday, The U.S.set another record for daily confirmed cases as several states posted all-time highs. The pandemic has killed more than 233,000 people in the United States.
Biden spent Thursday trying to ease tensions and project a more traditional image of presidential leadership. After participating in a coronavirus briefing, he declared that “each ballot must be counted.”
“I ask everyone to stay calm. The process is working,” Biden said. “It is the will of the voters. No one, not anyone else who chooses the president of the United States of America.”
Biden’s victories in the upper Midwest put him in a strong position, but Trump showed no sign of giving up. It could take several more days for the vote count to conclude and a clear winner to emerge. With millions of ballots yet to be tabulated, Biden already had received more than 73 million votes, the most in history.
Trump’s erroneous claims about the integrity of the election challenged Republicans now faced with the choice of whether to break with a president who, though his grip on his office grew tenuous, commanded sky-high approval ratings from rank-and-file members of the GOP.
Lawsuits and late mail-in ballots
Trump’s campaign engaged in a flurry of legal activity to try to improve the Republican president’s chances, requesting a recount in Wisconsin and filing lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia. Judges in Georgia and Michigan quickly dismissed Trump campaign lawsuits there on Thursday.
Trump has held a small edge in Georgia, though Biden has been gaining on him as votes continue to be counted. The same is true in Pennsylvania, where Trump’s lead had slipped to about 22,000 votes — and the race is destined to get tighter.
One reason is because elections officials were not allowed to process mail-in ballots until Election Day under state law. It’s a form of voting that has skewed heavily in Biden’s favour after Trump spent months claiming without proof that voting by mail would lead to widespread voter fraud.
Mail ballots from across the state were overwhelmingly breaking in Biden’s direction. A final vote total may not be clear for days because the use of mail-in ballots, which take more time to process, has surged as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Trump campaign said it was confident the president would ultimately pull out a victory in Arizona, where votes were also still being counted, including in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous area.
The AP has declared Biden the winner in Arizona and said Thursday that it was monitoring the vote count as it proceeded.
Tanzania: Opposition Party Chadema Wins Parliamentary Seat
Tanzania’s main opposition party Chadema has won majority of the votes in a major constituency of Nkasi North Seat in Rukwa beating the ruling party CCM.
On Friday State leaning media reported that Aida Khenan became the first Chadema candidate to win in the 2020 Polls. She won with 21,226 votes compared to her challenger who scored 1,254 votes.
Her win made her the second opposition candidate to win a parliamentary seat in polls conducted on Wednesday after CUFs candidate won earlier on in the day.
Meanwhile, the ruling party CCM continued with a winning streak after Bishop Josephat Gwajima was declared winner of Kawe Consitutency beating another Chadema candidate Halima Mdee in a tight race.
On election day, Mdee had been arrested and detained by Tanzanian Police but was later released. She was accused of causing chaos at a polling station (Tarafani). Mdee on the other hand fielded allegations of ballot stuffing.
CCM’s Bonnah Kamoli defended her Segerea parliamentary seat after she secured a win by a slight margin in 2015, Jerry Slaa on the other hand won the Ukonga Seat on CCM ticket after he was defeated in 2015 by Mwita Waitara.
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