The local government elections started Saturday, October 23 in different villages across the country. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the exercise was delayed by nearly a year. But the wait was over this Saturday morning when members of the electoral committees woke up to different polling sites to elect the Executive Committees of their villages. The vying candidates had been nominated last week, three from each division of the village called “Isibo”. All the polling sites visited by The New Times had employed strict measures to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. In most instances, there were no long lines behind the candidate as usual, but instead, casting the ballots in boxes, managed by the delegation from the National Electoral Commission. To encourage social distancing, each electoral committee from a village had its own particular room. As they assume duties, the grassroots will first be trained and equipped with needed skills and experiences in the governance sector, according to the Gasabo District Executive Administrator Pauline Umwali who was present at the polling sites. “It is our duty as leaders to train these junior entrants in the governance domain, on how to accomplish their duties, so we will collaboratively work with them and support them to start the job with a clear picture of the duties,” she noted. She also asked them to be committed to their work and asked the population to be submissive to these newly elected grassroots. “We ask you to be committed to your duties and work in the interests of the population, because this will benefit you and the community at large,” she said, urging the local population to also be submissive. Joseph Mpumuro, one of the newly elected leaders in Kibagabaga cell in the Kimironko sector, promised to maintain and add on what has been achieved so far. “So far, we have a lot of achievements because of our good leadership, so we are going to maintain what has been achieved in terms of security, health and education on the frontline but also go an extra mile,” he said. Elections at villages will be followed by elections at the cell level on October 30. Sectors will elect their leaders on November 6 while district councillors and executive committee will be elected three days after. The announcement of the results is slated for November 26 while the term will kick- off in February 2022.