President Paul Kagame has called for improved service delivery to citizens, emphasising that Imihigo (performance contracts) would mean nothing if they do not directly translate into better welfare for the people.
Kagame was yesterday speaking at Parliament after central and local government leaders signed new performance contracts with him, locally known as Imihigo, committing to achieve specific goals in the current fiscal year 2017-2018.
“Providing services to every citizen is your responsibility. It is not about who or when you choose to serve,” he said.
He also urged the leaders, including district mayors and ministers as well as heads of different government bodies, to improve coordination to achieve results within a short time and with minimal resources.
“We need to improve the way we work together. There must be consequences for any failure to coordinate among each other,” he said.
Imihigo, which have been credited with improving accountability and accelerating the pace of citizen-centred development, are signed every fiscal year since 2006.
The Government introduced it as a home-grown performance management and accountability tool that promotes accountability and decentralisation of governance, and fast-tracks economic development.
Kagame said at the signing of the performance contracts that they (Imihigo) shouldn’t just be a ceremony but an efficient mechanism to evaluate performance, learn from specific mistakes and move forward with collective efforts.
“The progress we have made to date is not enough. We must commit to do more and better,” he said.
The leaders’ performance contracts for 2017/18 focus on improving economic, social, and governance sectors in line with the Government’s seven-year programme.
Under the contracts, the economic sector has priorities that include job creation, especially by empowering the youth in entrepreneurship and increasing production from agriculture and farming.
The social cluster will see efforts made to improve urbanisation, quality of education and healthcare, fight malnutrition, and promote hygiene.
In the area of governance, leaders pledged to deliver better and faster services to citizens, better manage public resources, and improve officials’ cooperation with members of the private sector and civil society to deal with challenges.
Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente, who presented the performance contracts for the central government, said that every effort will be made to execute what is in the contracts.
The Minister for Local Government, Francis Kaboneka, presented what is in districts’ performance contracts and said that they will do their best to improve delivery of public services to citizens.
“We will continue to deliver better services to citizens and ensure that they don’t face any injustice while services can be delivered to them in time,” he said.
At the event yesterday, mayors of Rwamagana, Musanze and Huye districts received trophies from President Paul Kagame in recognition of their good performance in implementing Imihigo targets for the previous fiscal year 2016/17.
Rwamagana emerged the best performing district during the period, with a score of 82 per cent. Musanze was second with 81.2 per cent, while Huye came third place with 80.5 per cent.