10 February 2013

Rwanda: Why Stamps Were Withdrawn From Village Leaders

ALL village leaders across the country were, last week, ordered to hand over official stamps in their possession. The move follows orders from the Ministry of Local Government, which they say is aimed at promoting good governance and timely service delivery.

According to Fred Mufulukye, the Director General of Territorial Administration and Good Governance in the Ministry of Local Government, the stamps, despite having been for years used by the village leaders on different documents, were not supposed to be in their possession in the first place.

"The village leaders used stamps to, for example, prove ownership of land in case one wanted to sale, this is no longer required because land titles have been introduced," said the official.

He said that for those seeking facilities like travel documents, the service would be made easy because "citizens will be passing through one step - at the cell offices - instead of beginning from the village then move up to the cell."

Dieudonné Mutarugera, the leader of Nyakabanda sector in Kigali City, said he received instructions from the Mayor of Nyarugenge district to repossess all stamps from village (Umudugudu) leaders within two days, meaning before the end of last week.

All stamps from the 27 villages constituting his sector had been collected.

"Village leaders should not be dealing with paperwork. They are only mandated to mobilise citizens to embrace government programmes, maintain safety in their respective villages and all of these do not require a stamp," he said.

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