20 June 2012

Rwanda: 'We Are in Green' - Nyaruguru District Mayor

Days after Rwanda's Southern Province team came to Nyaruguru district to evaluate the current state towards achieving the performance contracts (locally known as imihigo), this news website has exclusively learnt that Nyaruguru was ranked in the "green" category, meaning that it's reached an interesting phase in the whole process to live up to its performance contracts.

"I'm sorry I am revealing the secret to you but we are in green [category]", boasted Nyaruguru district mayor, François Habitegeko - smiling.

Other categories include the red in which achievements are of a mediocre state and the yellow category where achievements stand beyond the ladder average, just at around 70 per cent. And then comes the green, at a much higher level.

The 44-component Nyaruguru district performance contracts - which the Southern Province team assessed last Friday - fall under four main themes as outlined by the Rwandan government, namely economy, social affairs, good governance and justice.

According to mayor Habitegeko, some of the areas where Nyaruguru district seems to have worst performed include the building of a tea factory and cattle's artificial insemination - scoring around 50 per cent - but these (which were mainly brought about by miscommunication errors that delayed some allocated funds), the mayor said, were compensated with some areas like reducing school dropouts which attained 102, 37 per cent and family planning that has reached around 95 per cent.

Some of the remarks that the Southern Province team made to Nyaruguru district staff include signing off administrative documents and keep all district budget records to enhance accountability.

The provincial assessment of performance contracts in Nyaruguru comes ahead of the assessment by national level delegates, slated on July 2-3, 2012, after which Rwanda's 30 districts will be classified and rewarded in line with how best they achieved the 2011-2012 performance contracts.

Last fall, in the 2010-2011 performance contracts, Nyaruguru district came in the 29th position out of 30 districts across the country - a position mayor Habitegeko believes will change for the better this time around.

Rwanda's President Paul Kagame initiated the performance contracts in 2006, as a way of swifting the country's development through acknowledging and rewarding best performing leaders, among others.

Gahiji Innocent is the chief political columnist for News of Rwanda.He grew up in Kampala, Uganda, before moving to Rwanda. His column is syndicated to newspapers around the country. He has written columns from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, Israel and South Africa. Gahiji, who has a B.A. degree in English from the University of Illinois, has been a Poynter Media Fellow at Yale University.

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