Kigali, 12 September 2014
President Kagame today presided over the annual Imihigo signing ceremony at Parliament, where Ministers and Mayors signed new performance contracts. The Prime Minister also presented the evaluation report of the 2013/2014 District Imihigo performance, and the three best performing Districts were awarded with trophies of recognition.
In his address, President Kagame commended local leaders for improved performance, but pointed out that the evaluation report shows that there was room for doing better if more efforts were employed:
“Good performance hinges on coordination by the different levels of government, but deliberate efforts also need to be made. According to this District evaluation report, the points scored depict great efforts but coming ahead of the pack is not enough in itself; you have to endeavour to be at your best in all aspects. Questions should be asked about Districts that consistently perform poorly because these are symptoms of leadership problems. Shortcomings are not always due to lack of resources, they are due to leaders choosing not to fulfill responsibilities.”
President Kagame empahasised the need for local leaders to be decisive in their actions with the welfare of the people they lead in mind.
“Imihigo is a performance contract between leaders and those you serve. Citizens will continue to hold you accountable. As leaders, you must put your words into action and walk the talk. As leaders, it is your responsibility to solve problems faced by citizens in an efficient and just manner. We must uphold a culture of accountability. The progress we have made is not an excuse for complacency.We should look ahead and work to accomplish even more with every step that we take.”
President Kagame pointed out that there are cases of lack of accountability, where individuals take public resources and make them their own. He emphasized that the Judiciary should ensure that those embezzling public funds not only face justice but also are made to return whatever they took.
During the same event, Gertrude Kazarwa also swore in as a new member of the Senate.
The Minister of Local Government and Community Development enumerated achievements registered by local leaders, among them food security, poverty reduction, water and electricity accessibility, roads network improvement among others.
Kicukiro, Ngoma and Ngororero and Huye emerged as best performers in the past Imihigo performance. The Minister of Local Government said in the new Imihigo the District will aim to do even better delivery of services focusing on the three pillars of namely the economy, good governance and community wellbeing.