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Rwanda: Another Wave of District Mayors Resignations?

by Dan Ngabonziza
11:58 am

Karongi District Mayor François Ndayisaba leads the list of district Mayors and their deputies who resigned.

On Monday evening, September 2, news broke out that Karongi district Mayor François Ndayisaba and his deputies in Western Province, tendered in their resignation letters – citing personal reasons.

Not more than twenty-four hours, more news emerged from the same Province, that Ngororero district deputy Mayors in charge of Social and Economic Affairs, also resigned, while the Mayor’s fate remain uncertain.

Uwamariya Marie Claire vice mayor of social affairs in Musanze district

A few minutes later, news coming from Musanze district, Northern Province, was that an impromptu advisory council ordered the district leadership to resign.

This came after the district deputy mayor in charge of Economic affairs, Augustin Ndabereye was detained. The vice mayor is accused of assaulting his wife on Thursday last week, leaving her with multiple bodily injuries.

The incident took place at the couple’s matrimonial home in a neighborhood Yaounde in Musanze town.

However, KT Press understands that the massive resignations are hugely connected to an irresistible self-evaluation coupled with a series of audits.

Between June and August last year, more than 10 districts saw their Mayors and deputies tender in resignation letters.

Mukashema Drocella vice mayor of economic affairs Karongi district

The citing of ‘personal reasons’ excuse received massive criticism by members of the public who think that the elected district leaders have other undisclosed reasons.

Despite citing ‘personal reasons’ however, some of these leaders faced courts after investigations discovered that they had a hand in the mismanagement of public funds.

These resignations came a few days to the annual district performance contracts commonly known as Imihigo.

Jean Damascene Habyarimana, Mayor of Musanze district

In the same scenario, the current massive resignation of district leaders comes at a time when Imihigo performance contracts were halted after President Paul Kagame ordered leaders to revisit them.

At the wave of Mayors’ resignations last year, KT Press contacted Provincial Governors to explain what was behind the resignation of the mayors, and all had two answers; accountability and evaluation.

Meanwhile, as resignations intensify, the date for the signing of district performance contracts (Imihigo) is yet to be decided.

During a leadership retreat in March last year, President Paul Kagame accused leaders especially district mayors for not delivering to expectations.

Pointing out one by one, the President asked leaders to explain why they have failed to deal with malnutrition.

In response to the President, former Local Government Minister Francis Kaboneka said that some leaders blindly skip issues and only realize them once they are asked about them.

Vice Mayor in charge of economic affairs in Musanze district Ndabereye Augustin was forced to resign. He is to face assault court case against his wife

One of the reasons President Paul Kagame halted the signing of this year’s Imihigo, was to send leaders back to the drawing board and include in projects that directly touch the lives of citizens, according to explanations given to journalists by Finance Minister Dr. Uziel Ndagijimana during a press conference last month.