EDITORIAL: Mutuelle de Sante: Local leaders can do much better

In the last couple of months, many districts have been part of a series of musical chairs; leaders have come and gone at an alarming rate as local governments underwent a major shakeup.

In the last couple of months, many districts have been part of a series of musical chairs; leaders have come and gone at an alarming rate as local governments underwent a major shakeup. 

The reasons behind the changes in leadership were various; from laxity and abuse of office to outright embezzlement of public funds.

The hardest hit sector was the administration of the community health insurance scheme, Mutuelle de Santé, that brought more headaches than cures to the intended beneficiaries.

Premiums went where they were not supposed to, financial statements could not be reconciled and districts owed hospitals and pharmacies hundreds of millions of francs.

The extent of the abuse of the insurance scheme only came to light during a leadership retreat, yet it was happening under the very noses of Provincial Governors and Mayors. Today, the same leaders are shifting blame to their subordinates.

Leaders should assume responsibility and strive to plug the loopholes in their leadership, because, as the saying goes; ‘leadership is action and not position’. Leaders should learn to do the right things so that their managers do things right – instead of trying to pass the buck!

The right thing for the leaders in local administration should have been to meticulously monitor the projects under their watch so that they do not spiral out of control.

Today, it is the population that is suffering because their leaders were asleep, and when they finally woke up, they got engrossed in damage control.

The priority should be making the right choices and not sweeping shortcomings under the carpet. That is leadership.

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