A dynamic but a fruitful week!

Almost after four weeks of a successful campaign by a bus in the most part of Kosovo, the senior KPA Management joined the bus from 15-18th January 2008 in order to visit the municipalities of Istog, Klina, Pejë, Ferizaj and Prizren. These municipalities account for nearly half of the total caseload of submitted to the Kosovo Property Agency (KPA). The delegation from KPA included the Executive Director, Mr. Knut Rosandhaug, the Deputy Director, Mr. Xhevat Azemi, and Heads of the KPA Regional Offices as well as the other accompanying staff. During the visits meetings the KPA officials met with presidents of these municipalities as well as representatives of municipal structures, and other local and international institutions that perform their activities in these regions, such as OSCE and UNMIK.

These visits introduced a new phase of the KPA mobile campaign, now represented in a wit the Agency`s senior management..  The first visit, on 15th January 2008, with the president of Istog municipality, Mr. Fadil Ferati and his associates was interesting because of the very fact that the highest number of claims submitted to the KPA relates to properties in this municipality.

“We have a joint interest to cooperate and take part in the process actively because only in this way we can ensure that KPA processes cases professionally and the Commission takes just decisions on submitted claims. We need to secure valid property documentation, as well as verification of those documents which parties have presented in order to avoid any kind of possible mistakes”, said Mr. Knut Rosandhaug, the KPA’s Executive Director. After thanking municipal authorities of Istog, in particular the Department of Cadastre and Geodesy, for a correct cooperation with KPA officials, Mr. Rosandhaug promised an engagement for a more intensive cooperation with Istog municipality, always enforcing of the law and guarantying property rights for all citizens in Kosovo.

The President of Istog Municipality, Mr. Fadil Ferati, thanked the KPA senior management for the visit and promised maximum efforts of cooperation in order to secure the fast and just resolution of claims submitted before the KPA.“This large number of claims in our municipality “terrifies” me, but I promise you that our engagement will be available at any moment”, said Mr. Ferati, after the KPA Director Knut Rosandhaug handed over lists containing information about more than 5 thousand property claims in Istog Municipality. After the meeting with President Ferati, the KPA delegation made a visit to Dobrushë village. This offered the senior management of KPA an opportunity to engage in conversations with inhabitants of this village regarding issues of property disputes as well as the need to participate in the KPA process.

“We execute more than 99.9% of the former HPD decisions successfully in Klina, but still 2 cases come out and created a bad image in the public for KPA as well as for the Municipality”, said Mr. Rosandhaug at the beginning of the meeting with the newly elected president of Klina municipality, Mr. Sokol Bashota. After congratulating him with the new post as Head of Municipality, Mr. Rosandhaug clarified media misunderstandings and misinterpretations which came out last year regarding level of cooperation between KPA and municipalities. President Bashota stressed that he is aware of challenges waiting for him in his new post, but he is ready to cooperate with KPA, in order for the property claims to be quickly and justly resolved, regardless of which ethnical group were submitted by. During the meeting, a list of submitted property claims was handed over to the president Bashota and his associates, with more than 3000 thousands claims in this municipality alone.

KPA team, led by the Director Rosandhaug and the Deputy Director Azemi visited Tërstenik village, a village inhabited mainly by Serbian minority, and they were closely informed with worries the villagers have related to property disputes. KPA leaders, on this occasion as well encouraged inhabitants of this village to become part of the KPA process. Otherwise they might waste a chance to represent and protect any kind of interest that they might have over a particular claimed property.

Even in Peja municipality, the meeting between KPA officials and the new Municipal President, Mr. Ali Berisha and his associates, took place in an amicable and constructive atmosphere, with both parties committing themselves for a stronger cooperation. After this meeting, the next ‘station’ was Dobërdol village where inhabitants of this area had an opportunity to get informed more closely and in detail regarding KPA mandate as well as phases of the claim processing up to the decision making and enforcement of a decision as the final act.

“I have promised that I will always be in citizens’ service and part of this service is engagement in respect for the law and  to guarantee the property right for all citizens of our municipality, without any distinction”, said President of Ferizaj, Mr. Bajrush Xhemaili at the beginning of the meeting with the KPA delegation,. He admitted that being new person in this post he was not aware of the big number of propertyclaims in this municipality. Nevertheless he expressed his belief that a legal and fair solution for these claims will be reached by a mutual engagement and continuous cooperation.

Nerodime village has for some time been considered as a ‘problematic’ village with regards to perform notification of KPA claims. But, after the KPA delegation visit, headed by director Rosandhaug, and meeting with the village leader, it seems the preconception that existed for KPA is minimized and the village leader promised that there won’t be any “technical problems” for KPA teams to do their daily work in the field.

The meeting with the President of Prizren municipality was somehow more unique. Older by age, but with an office as luxurious as the reader may possibly imagine, Mr. Ramadan Muja admitted that since he was newly elected, he did not have much information regarding the KPA’s work and function. The KPA’s deputy director, Mr. Xhevat Azemi, summarized and informed Mr. Muja on the KPA background and mandate as well as of the organizational structure of this agency. The meeting passed in the spirit of commitment for more frequent contacts between municipal authorities of Prizren and the KPA. Later, KPA representatives visited Novakë village, with mainly Serbian inhabitants, most of them of old age and living in houses reconstructed after the conflict.

It’s worth mentioning that most of these meetings were followed by a considerable number of media and journalists, be it local or national ones.  

Despite of a dynamic and “tiresome” week with protocol meetings, these days brought to light a very interesting phase of the KPA mobile campaign, in its efforts to reach out to a wider audience with information about the Agency’s work and mandate.

The Bus campaign will continue in Mitrovica Municipality as well as in Pristina.