In the wake of what appears to be a stunning performance in the 2012-2013 national performance contracts that saw Nyaruguru slipping off eight places closer compared to the previous edition, Nyaruguru district's Mayor, François Habitegeko, has come out to put the records straight on what instigated the apparent good performance.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday in Nyaruguru district, Southern Rwanda, Mayor Habitegeko said the district was well tired of coming in the last positions in the previous years' rankings.
"It's our determination that paid off. We said 'enough is enough, we can't keep lagging behind'. And our determination was measured through persistent monitoring and keeping focus", said a thrilled Habitegeko, speaking amid over 150 of the district's staff team, community leaders and partners, all in attendance.
"Of course", he hastened to add, "all was reinvigorated by the team spirit".
In the just-concluded 2012-2013 performance contracts whose results came out in September (this month, that is), Nyaruguru came in the 18th position with 94 marks percent on average out of Rwanda's 30 districts - a landmark if recent history is anything to go by.
In the previous three years of performance contracts, Nyaruguru ranked 29th, 28th and 26th respectively, scoring 59 marks, 75 marks, and 86 marks percent on average accordingly.
And this year again, in line with the 2012-2013 performance contracts, "Nyaruguru is among nine districts [out of Rwanda's 30 districts] with the best performance", said Mayor Habitegeko, apparently quoting an internal, national report on performance contracts.
Performance contracts cover a wide range of components, divided into three main pillars: good governance, social welfare and economy. And on the latter specifically, more still has to be done in Nyaruguru district, according to the Minister of State in charge of Transport, Dr Alexis Nzahabwanimana, who also advises the Nyaruguru district leadership team - other districts have their special, high-ranking advisors, too, who keep monitoring the pace of progress.
State Minister Dr Nzahabwanimana challenged the Nyaruguru district leadership team to now shift the goalposts and work towards winning the first place.
"Being the first is much better, but the first place has to be reflective of the positive change towards improving the population's lives as well", he cautioned.
Rwanda's President Paul Kagame initiated the performance contracts in 2006, as a way of developing the country through acknowledging and rewarding best performing leaders, among others.