Owning a house in Rwanda’s capital Kigali has become one of the biggest dreams for nearly all walks of life- and it causing rapid rise in prices of prime plots of land both within Kigali and surrounding suburbs.
Many people are on a daily basis making inquiries about plots of land to buy and sell prompting the intervention of middle-men (commissionaires) that get paid on commission for fixing deals between buyers and sellers.
However, in the process of buying and selling, many people have fallen victim to fraudsters that carefully take advantage of ignorance of this complex property business. The fraudsters are so cunning and highly connected to bankers, land Centre and sometimes within law enforcement agencies.
Despite Rwanda Investigations Bureau currently investigating an enormous pile of cases related to property and financial fraud, many such crimes are taking on a new dimension both in speed and high level treachery.
For example, Munyeragwe Jean Damascene (considering names on his driver’s license) has been in and out of prison because of fraud related to treacherous buying and selling of plots of land around Kigali.
Munyeragwe in his 40s, was serving a 3-year prison sentence when his name appeared on a list of among over 2,000 inmates convicted for various crimes that were accorded Presidential pardon in September 2018.
Immediately out of prison gates, Munyeragwe resumed his trade because his network still existed and was still going on with property fraud business. It is not well known how they obtain genuine land titles which they use to sell to unsuspecting clients- this remains a very big challenge for the law enforcement agencies.
Munyeragwe’s luck run out recently early on September 24, when he sold a plot of land to a young woman Kayitesi Anitha.
“He identified himself as a pastor and was accompanied by a decently dressed woman and drove a nice SUV as we headed to the site of the plot,” Kayitesi told Taarifa, adding that she didn’t suspect any foul play.
The plot with (UPI:1/02/01/01/1776) measuring 659 square meters is located at Rubungo village, Kinyaga cell of Bumbogo sector in Gasabo district but is registered in the names of Uwizeyimana Leo and his spouse (names withheld).
“I liked the plot and immediately paid Rwf2million to Munyeragwe,” Kayitesi said, “it was the second plot I was buying but later discovered I had been fleeced.”
Munyeragwe is said to always hire expensive cars and changes registration number plates whenever he goes to meet unsuspecting clients.
Recently on November 2, Munyeragwe was arrested after fleecing another person to whom he sold a plot of land valued over Rwf20million. He is currently detained at Kimironko detention facility as he awaits trial. It is believed that Munyeragwe has conned many people that usually fail to reach him after they notice a deal gone bad.