The sudden resignation of Pascal Nyamulinda as Kigali City mayor was top on the agenda of Friday afternoon’s Kigali City Council’s meeting which was chaired by Athanase Rutabingwa.
Rutabingwa is the chairperson of the Council that brings together 33 members representing varied interests and sectors.
The resignation, which Nyamulinda said was due to personal reasons, just over a year in office, came as a surprise to many as the outgoing official had been seen to go about duties normally before Tuesday evening.
Following a review of his letter, his resignation was approved by the City Council on Friday, according to Rutabingwa.
The vice mayor of Economic Development Affairs, Parfait Busabizwa, will serve as the acting mayor prior to the election of the next office holder.
Rutabingwa said that the meeting resolved to seek the approval of the Ministry of Local Government after which they will work with the National Electoral Commission to hold a by-election.
The law gives the council up to three months to hold a by-election, but Rutabingwa said that it’s likely to happen sooner given the planned work in coming months.
The leadership gap following the resignation came at a time when the City Council had not had an executive secretary for close to five months.
The former City of Kigali’s executive secretary, Didier Sagashya, was dismissed from office in November last year over what was described as misconduct.
Rutabingwa said that the City Council is aware of the gap and is working on terms of reference for the recruitment of a replacement in coming days. The executive secretary is hired through ordinary recruitment procedures.
He, however, allayed fears that there is a leadership vacuum in the City of Kigali with the two positions being vacant, adding the Council oversees all affairs of the city.
“There is no leadership vacuum. We still have two vice mayors with one of them acting in the interim prior to the election of a new mayor. In regards to the technical side, we have technicians who work under the executive secretary’s office,” he said.
He said that the technical team has been fulfilling their duties as expected.
The City of Kigali is currently in the process of implementing a master plan as well as setting up infrastructure such as expanded road network to reduce traffic jams.