Close to 200 members of the local administration from all over the country are holding a retreat to identify challenges and streamline their operations.
Ever since the decentralization program was initiated, local entities took on the core responsibilities of the central government.
The sudden adoption of core responsibilities came along with many challenges; delivery of services was disrupted and many local leaders learnt their lessons the hard way; through trial and error.
With the introduction of performance contracts, services improved on the surface, but under scrutiny, mayors and their staff were prone to cut corners or cook books - such as the number of their people with medical cover – in order to look good.
The government had to go back to the drawing board, tying up loose pieces and also creating Rwanda Governance Board, a body that has played a major role in researching and propagating best practices.
Despite RGB successful venture, many administrative bodies are still struggling with satisfactory service delivery and need constant monitoring.
The Ministry of Local Government and other governance stakeholders could save themselves trouble by introducing a uniform service charter and regular monitoring to see it is implemented across the board, not having one district praised for excellent service delivery while others are found wanting.
It has been proven time and again that local leaders who give poor service are those who think that they are doing someone a favour. Those are the dangerous and pompous species that need to be weeded out and only retain those who regard service as a calling.