Officials from the National Electoral Commission (NEC) are currently traversing the country to prepare the ground for next year’s local government elections. Eligible Rwandans will go to the polls to elect their leaders, right from the village to district level, and the City of Kigali.
Needless to say, elections are not new in Rwanda. They have become part of our political culture, as a way of ensuring political participation and good governance. The August 9 presidential election was testimony to the commendable level of political maturity Rwandans have attained. They turned up, overwhelmingly, to vote for the candidate of their choice, and are now confident that their leader will deliver the much needed development.
However, the President and other senior leaders need everyone’s support to bring forth what we expect of them. One of the ways of ensuring that is to give them the right people to work with at the local government level. The voters’ choices during the upcoming local elections will have a huge implication on how development will trickle down to the grassroots. It is, therefore, important that voters put their trust in candidates with the best manifestos, built not on rhetoric, but on realistic and consistent agenda.
The elections present an opportunity to the voters to dismiss incompetent leaders, and to elect a new team of hardworking and determined individuals, capable of translating Government’s development policies and programmes, into reality. That’s why, as in the recent presidential election, it’s important that voters put their faith in people with sound programmes, who fit into the country’s development philosophy. In the last local government elections, many triumphant candidates did not stand the test of time, as they immediately started to abuse power to serve their personal interests, at the expense of the electorate. Most of them have since resigned.
This time round, the electorate needs to vote for candidates who have what it takes to take their respective communities to the next level.