The National Electoral Commission (NEC) has revealed that by-elections for district councillors to fill vacant positions in Rubavu district will be held on August 11, according to the NEC Executive Secretary, Charles Munyaneza. The upcoming elections will set the stage for the selection of a new Mayor for Rubavu district, following the resignation of Ildephonse Kambogo on May 5, during an extraordinary seating of the district's advisory council. Kambogo's departure was linked to alleged mismanagement of disaster response efforts in the area. Munyaneza explained that the process of electing mayors and vice mayors is typically preceded by the election of district councillors. In this case, the by-elections will not only fill the district councilors' positions in Rubavu but also pave the way for subsequent elections of the executive committee-mayor in Rubavu district, mayor and vice mayors in Rutsiro, and vice mayor in Rwamagana. The elections for district councilors and mayor in Rubavu will take place on the same day. The Ministry of Local Government requested the by-elections, prompting NEC's preparations. Once NEC receives letters from the ministry, the by-elections must be conducted within a maximum of 90 days to fill the vacant positions. In Rubavu district, 17 candidates have come forward to replace the resigned mayor as district councilors. The election campaigns for these positions are scheduled to begin on July 26 and conclude on August 10. Additionally, the ministry is set to submit letters to NEC, requesting preparations for by-elections in Rutsiro and Rwamagana districts. This follows the dismissal of all district councilors in Rutsiro for failing in their responsibilities on June 28. ALSO READ: New law sets leaner district councils Furthermore, a recent incident involving the arrest of the vice mayor in Rwamagana, Jeanne d’Arc Nyirabihogo, on charges related to abuse of functions in a case involving substandard housing construction has also played a part in the need for by-elections in that district. The criteria for ceasing the duties of a district councilor include resignation in writing, a definitive sentence of imprisonment exceeding six months, a penalty of community service, conviction of genocide-related crimes, unexcused absence from three consecutive meetings, acceptance of an incompatible position, suspension from duty by the District Council, inability to discharge duties due to certified medical reasons, expiration of the term of office, dissolution of the District Council, and death. The dissolution of the District Council may occur upon request from one-third of its members if it is in the interest of the population or due to unrest caused by the council members. In such cases, the President of the Republic appoints representatives, and new councillors are elected within three months following the dissolution. Transitional management is put in place if the District Mayor and deputies are dismissed simultaneously, with an acting Mayor elected from among the council members within three months. The by-elections are seen as a crucial step in maintaining effective governance and representation in the affected districts.