The Minister for Local Government, Francis Kaboneka on Friday assured the newly-elected City of Kigali Mayor, Marie Chantal Rwakazina, that she has all the support she needs from his ministry so as to deliver in her new job.
Kaboneka made the pledge shortly after Rwakazina, 45, an economist, was elected by an overwhelming 94.8 per cent of the Electoral College, made up of 154 city councilors.
Rwakazina, who was hitherto working at the UNDP as a coordination analyst, was elected to replace Pascal Nyamulinda, who resigned last month.
She garnered 146 votes while her only opponent for the position, Henriette Murekatete, a lawyer, got only eight votes.
Kaboneka, however, made it clear that her honeymoon ends immediately after being sworn in, since there is work to do, especially in implementing the city master plan, improving road infrastructure to deal with traffic congestion, enhancing security, as well as addressing urban settlement challenges and impact of natural disasters, among others.
Kaboneka said: “Fortunately, you will not be on your own. The entire team that’s here and others who are not here are going to assist you.
“You are going to become a specialist in security, in health matters, in engineering, especially in the development of infrastructure in the City of Kigali, a specialist in advising, a specialist in gender, youth, business, in cooperatives, and in natural disasters. But all this is normal work; and you shouldn’t fear”.
The new mayor boasts of about five years working with the local government, having worked with Rwanda Association of Local Government Authorities (RALGA), where she served as deputy secretary general.
Kaboneka urged the new mayor to carry on with the ongoing efforts to enhance aspects of environment protection as well as hygiene in the city, among others.
The electorate, as set out in Article 160 of the electoral law, is composed of members of the Council of Kigali City; council members of the districts that make up the City of Kigali; and members of the bureau from all sectors of the city.
All these, Kaboneka said, should put their hands together and ensure progress in the capital.
“I particularly also want to request you all to improve on being closer to the city’s residents and sensitise them on development activities, health and safety matters, mind the importance of continuing to fast-track the development of our country, especially our city, as we focus on sustainable development.
“I also want to assure you that in all this, as the Ministry of Local Government and affiliated agencies, we are ready to assist you. We shall do whatever it takes to support you and make sure that you achieve whatever you set out to do”.
Rwakazina, a mother of two, told the gathering at City Hall that she is going to work hard and consult widely, among others, to ensure the city moves to another level.
In efforts to implement the city master plan, she pledged to ensure that residents – in their different capacities – fit in and be happy.
*Read the new Mayor’s proposals in Sunday Times tomorrow.