EDITORIAL: No honeymoon for new mayors

Wednesday was a busy day for five districts that have been running with leadership void following resignations of their mayors and in some, vice mayors.

Wednesday was a busy day for five districts that have been running with leadership void following resignations of their mayors and in some, vice mayors.

Gatsibo, Rwamagana, Karongi, Rusizi and Nyamasheke districts were all busy with by-elections that later saw five new mayors sworn in.

Francois Ndayisaba for Karongi, Aime Phabien Kamali for Nyamasheke, Frederic Harelimana for Rusizi, Richard Gasana for Gatsibo and Regis Mudaheranwa for Rwamagana were all sworn in Wednesday, but they have no time for honeymoon.

The new mayors know they are only in the office because those who were to hold it until their tenure ends in March next year, could not deliver and had to pay the price. A fortnight ago, the government warned local leaders to deliver or resign.

This could sound harsh in many people’s perception, but there is Vision 2020 and the second Economic Development and Poverty Eradication Strategy to be met.

The offices the new mayors are occupying fell vacant after the previous holders failed to deliver in various ways and had to step down.

Notably, most of the mayors were faulted for mismanaging or failure to deliver targets of community-based health insurance, Mutuelle de Sante.

Currently, Mutuelle is being revamped, with its management to go under Rwanda Social Security Board. Yet the new mayors will have a backlog, especially those at the helm of districts that were faulted for failure to account for premiums.

Like Rwamagana’s Uwizeyimana said, it is high time leaders stopped thinking for the electorate. Districts that have been known to heavily invest in the contribution of the masses in performance targets have not been failing to beat their targets because it reflects the aspirations of the people.

On the other hand, district executives and the masses have the cardinal responsibility to stand by these new leaders for a common front of taking their districts to greater heights. At the end of the day, the glory will not be the for mayors but for the district and all its people.

There is no time for honeymoon.