The Ministry of Local Government this week published an announcement halting public or private awareness gatherings for farmers.
Usually, the meetings take place in the morning, prompting farmers to lay down their tools.
“We are requesting all concerned authorities, that meetings with village locals may be conducted in afternoons or be merged with community assemblies,” the ministry said in a statement.
Signed by the Minister of Local Government Prof Anastase Shyaka, the announcement explains the aim is to avoid interfering with citizens’ productivity, especially during the farming season.
Speaking with The New Times, Aimable Mwananawe, the National Coordinator of Ihorere Munyarwanda, welcomed the development, saying it will allow citizens more time at work.
“Everything should be done in the interest of villagers and in case of urgent information or news – such as security matters –people should be informed immediately,” said Mwananawe.
The development is a result of complaints from ordinary citizens who increasingly asked local authorities to adjust the time for meetings.
Need for more productivity
Even as the meetings were for citizens’ participation in planning and decision-making on the issues that affect them, they did not give local communities enough time to work and fend for their families.
Organized by different organs including civil society organisations, the meetings happen regularly and yet there’s another one held every Tuesday.
Due to this, civil society organisations argue, villagers have been wasting a lot of their productive time.
With the new directive, villagers will spend more time at work.