To sign or not to sign a performance contract

January is a time for local government leaders at various levels to present their plans of action for the new year. In effect they would have identified development programmes in their areas that need greatest attention for the year, and present contracts to the effect that they are committing to seeing through those developments come to life.

January is a time for local government leaders at various levels to present their plans of action for the new year. In effect they would have identified development programmes in their areas that need greatest attention for the year, and present contracts to the effect that they are committing to seeing through those developments come to life.

It is not an easy thing to commit oneself to such service unless there is great determination and will for achieving a purpose that will bring a positive impact to the lives of many people. As we have seen in the last few short weeks since the year began, there have been mayors resigning their posts – Rubavu and Muhanga mayors for example - ostensibly because they could foresee that they would not be able to handle the enormous area responsibilities thrust upon them, because of other equally pressing engagements.

To be sure, it is a disconcerting thing to resign a top post like mayor – disconcerting for both the decision maker and the people whom they have been leading. There is a slight feeling of betrayal, of abandoning one’s flock, and one hardly knows how to act.
But when looked at closely, it is acting for the best. It does not make any sense to accept responsibility and then proceed to discharge one’s duties in such a hopeless manner as to force other authorities to request you to leave.

Perhaps all leaders who hold public offices should take lessons from this and reflect on it deeply. Should I take on this job? Will I manage to faithfully and energetically discharge my duties in such a manner as is required of me by the appointing authority?

When everything has been said and done, it is always a wise man who recognises the range of his capabilities, and makes his jump from a position of strength. Please sir or madam, do sign that contract only when you are positive you will deliver.
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