Property Brokers Become Jobless As Rwanda Adopts Online Public Auction

Rwandans on Wednesday begun online bidding for properties lined up for public auction bringing an end to age old cumbersome and emotional method that involved physical presence of bidders at the site of property.

For any property available for auction valued at or above Rwf5million, interested bidders from wherever they are required to first deposit 5% of the price (reference price) as bid security. This is also refundable.

This new system is aimed at preventing any form of manipulations, influence peddlers and various forms of corruption previously experienced in analogue public auctions.

Martine Urujeni the Head of the Access to Justice Services in the Ministry of Justice explains that the new online method aims at weeding out ‘mafia rings’ formed by some brokers to distort prices and value.

According to Urujeni, when a successful bidder pays the price within the time limits specified by law, he or she deducts the bid security from the price to be paid.

The law provides that interested bidders enter offer prices through the electronic system where they are kept confidentially. Six hours before the auction hour, the prices are disclosed, again through the electronic system and also submitted by email to both the bailiff and each bidder.

“This fee is deposited onto the bank account specified by the Ministry of Justice and is refunded if the bidder is not awarded the property in question within three working days,” Urujeni was quoted in an interview with a local publication.

Meanwhile, Richard Kayibanda the Registrar General says, “It will be easier, faster and more transparent. The client can place their bid at any time and will be able to see the bidding results at the opening time, which will be communicated through email.”

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