Governance Month ends with call to promote self-reliance

The Governance Month that started on January 22, ended on Saturday with a resolution to uphold a culture of self-reliance among Rwandans.

Célestin Kabahizi , the Governor of Western Province (L) chats with Musoni after the meeting. The New Times/Timothy Kisambira.

The Month sought to reinforce citizen participation in governance through problem-solving meetings dubbed Governance Clinics, where leaders and citizens engage in interactive sessions.

According to Rwanda Governance Board (RGB), during the campaign about 6,026 issues were raised compared to 2,189 in 2012, an indication that citizens are responding positively to the month.

Out of 6,026, about 4,914 cases were solved, while the remaining complaints were referred to respective institutions for further discussion. Most of the cases were light compared to those raised last year.

Most of the concerns raised countrywide dwelt on land wrangles, domestic violence, abuse of drugs,  unlawful marriages, and court judgments that were not enforced by the local leaders.

Speaking at the closure of the governance month, James Musoni, the Minister of Local Government, said the month streamlined the effectiveness of governance systems where leaders were accountable to citizens.

“It has been a period of intensive activities across the country where citizens and all key stakeholders actively participated in various activities related to the objectives of the month,” he said.

Musoni stated that, this year, the period mainly focused on governance for production, more specifically on promoting self-reliance, service delivery and celebrating decentralisation achievements.

“I urge you to sustain this team spirit, synergy, coordination so that you can deliver as a team and strengthen your abilities to promote self reliance,” the minister said during a closing ceremony in Kigali.

Positive response

During the period, a number of innovations from sectors and districts were showcased and about 257 projects were unveiled.

Prof. Anastase Shyaka, the Chief Executive Officer RGB, said the 2013 Governance Month built on the achievements of the previous one.

“We have realised that Rwandans are responding positively to the month because there was strong participation,” he said.

The closure of the campaign included empowering civil society platforms that sensitise citizens to participate in government programmes.

At the event, a number of radio stations and civil society organisations were awarded over Rwf68 million in cheques as an appreciation for supporting government programmes through public awareness campaigns.

Alphonse Munyentwari, the Governor of Southern Province, told The New Times that the governance month has been a platform to address challenges that affect citizens.

“We want this month to continue. Citizens in my province are happy with the process because it is a channel through which they can engage with their leaders on issues that hinder their development initiatives,” he added.

By Frank Kanyesigye, The New Times

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