During elections of members of the District Council, a district is temporarily managed by its Executive Secretary. This temporary management commences on the day on which the National Electoral Commission has published the final list of candidates allowed to run for the posts of members of the District Council.
“The interim has already begun since we have published the provisional list of candidates, but with extension to allow all candidates to meet requirements until Friday, by Monday next week, the interim should be fully embraced,” said Charles Munyaneza, the Executive Secretary of National Electoral Commission(NEC).
Rwanda is entering into this phase as the country prepares the next round of grassroots elections, “the district council”.
The later, is the top management organ of the district, the highest entity in decentralized institutions, followed by the District Executive Committee; Executive Secretariat of a district and the District Security Committee.
With a total of 17 members, the district council is composed by eight (8) councillors elected at the District level; five (5) female councillors constituting at least thirty percent (30%) of members of the District Council; the Coordinator of the National Youth Council at the district level and the Coordinator of the National Women’s Council at the District level.
Also part of district council is the Coordinator of the National Council of Persons with Disabilities at the District level and the Chairperson of the private sector at the District level.
They serve for a five year renewable term of office.
“Multiple socket”: The Mayors hand over
Of all the management positions at district level, the mayor of a district who is the head of executive committee and his two deputies in charge of economic affairs and social affairs respectively, are the most known to the community.
Also elected, they serve for a renewable term of five years.
The mayors of 27 districts (city of Kigali districts not inclusive because they are no longer managed by mayors) since October 27, started handing over to the district executive secretary.
This team has got themselves a nickname of “multi socket” in reference to the kind of duties they conduct on a daily basis.
“You know we implement policies from all ministries; be it health, environment, education and name it…This comes with much stress. You have got to be well organized otherwise you can’t handle,” Deogratias Nzamwita, outgoing mayor of Gakenke District in Northern Province told KT Press.
Only three mayors from Gakenke, Ngoma, and Kirehe have served two terms.
Who is who among the candidates
According to the list of candidates who are vying for the 17 seats of councilors from which the mayor and their deputies is elected, on average each of the 27 districts have got an estimate 60 candidates.
They range from all walks of life including university lecturers, civil servants, journalists, former officials in central or civil society among others.
Some mayors who have served one term have also run for a second term.
The list include some people that are known to the public.
Theophile Ruberangeyo, former executive secretary of national fund of genocide survivors which was terminated also run in Nyanza district, together with Janvier Forongo, former executive secretary of the umbrella of Genocide survivors ‘ association.
In Ruhango, Francois Byabarumwanzi, former Member of Parliament from Liberal Party(PL) also was approved candidate of district council.
Renowned political commentator, educationist and farmer Jean Claude Sewase also qualified as candidate in Gicumbi District.
A long serving university lecturer is vying for a seat among councilors in Huye District.
Some mayors also want to bounce back and those include Ange Sebutege in Huye District, Radjab Mbonyumuvunyi in Rwamagana, Ayinkamiye Emerence of Rutsiro District and Richard Mutabazi of Bugesera district.
Jerome Rutaburingoga from Gisagara District has also qualified.