Editorial: Swift remedial actions needed to curb poor performance

Just a day before Mayors were to receive a verdict on how their districts performed in the annual performance contracts (Imihigo), the Government announced that it had fired an entire division in Rwanda Biomedical Centre.

They were accused of an array of wrongs and some have been arrested and could be criminally liable. The Government takes delivery of services very seriously, that is why civil servants sign performance contracts which are assessed annually.

The results released this year were some of the most disappointing for many years and that should be cause for concern.

A disturbing pattern emerged; most of the worst performing districts were from Southern Province. In fact some of them had been in the news for all the bad reasons; some of their leadership resigned en masse citing “personal reasons” though in actual fact they were edged out.  Now we see the true picture of what caused those leaders’ downfall.

For a district like Nyanza or neighbouring Ruhango to score a paltry 53 and 53.4 per cent, respectively, is a sign that the districts could be suffering from a serious disease; where the leadership is engrossed in their new found status symbol; sitting behind a huge desk with the national flag in the background and a shiny car parked outside.

That the average score was 68.8 per cent and half the districts were in the 60s and below, it is an indication that the disease is more acute than normal and will need more stringent measures.

The district Executive Council should not hog the blame alone, Advisory Councils also share responsibility. There should be some kind of mechanism where dissatisfied people could impeach and recall poor performers, not waiting to be shamed publicly on national TV.