The top leaders of Gatsibo and Rwamagana districts in Eastern Province yesterday tendered in their resignations to the respective district advisory councils.
First to throw in the towel, yesterday morning, was the Mayor of Gatsibo, Ambrose Ruboneza, his deputy for economic affairs Isaiah Habarurema and the District Advisory Council president, Innocent Munyaneza.
Speaking to The New Times, yesterday, Ruboneza, whose district has performed poorly year-on-year in the performance contracts (Imihigo) implementation, said what they did was in the interest of the people they serve.
“We sat down and decided to step down. Ours was to serve the public, but it lost meaning when we were ranked last in performance contracts,” Ruboneza said.
Gatsibo District ranked the worst performer in this year’s performance contract implementation.
“Despite the fact that we had done a lot in infrastructure and agriculture development, we lost public confidence due to poor ranking. It was thus a wise decision for us to resign,” he said.
The District Advisory Council has accepted their resignations.
In Rwamagana, the mayor, Nehemie Uwimana, and Francesca Mutiganda, the vice-mayor in charge of economic affairs, also tendered in their resignations.
According to the president of the district District Advisory Council, Alphonse Murenzi, the officials’ resignations were unanimously accepted by the members of the Council.
“We received the officials’ resignation letters, analysed them and voted in support. We were convinced beyond doubt that the officials had reasons to resign. Our performance in Imihigo has been dismal,” he said.
Murenzi said a new mayor should be in the office as soon as possible.
“The vice-mayor (social affairs) will oversee the district as we move to fill the gaps. We can’t wait for long. Hopefully, we will get the right candidates, who can expedite development in this district,” he said.
Uwimana said he had done his best to serve the district, adding that he will still give advice whenever contacted.
“I was almost completing five years in office, I have done all I could. Somebody may pick from where I stopped, it’s not a simple job as some people think,” he said.
According to residents, the resignation of the district leaders was long overdue, after the two districts persistently failed to deliver on performance targets.
Rwamagana ranked 29th out of 30 districts countrywide, with 71.6 per cent, while Gatsibo came last with 70.7 per cent.
James Karenzi, from Rwamagana, told The New Times that there was need to make changes for the better in the whole administration.
“We are happy that the leaders stepped down. They failed to deliver, this district has always been ranked among the last and the ranking is justified. We need able leaders,” he said.
The resignation of the district leaders follows a similar decision by the leadership of Gasabo District in November, where the mayor, Willy Ndizeye, and his two deputies resigned.
A month earlier, Kirehe mayor Protais Murayire had also thrown in the towel.
All these leaders were replaced in a by-election on Tuesday.