KIGALI - Prime Minister Bernard Makuza, yesterday pledged full support from the central government for the newly elected local leaders to ensure they execute their duties effectively.
The Premier made the remarks in an interview with The New Times at Rugunga polling station where he was participating in the elections.
“Being a local leader is one of the most demanding commitments; those elected took a courageous decision to stand, this is why we have to give them support in executing their duties,” Makuza said.
“These elections are a testimony that democracy is a reality in this country”.
Makuza noted that the local polls are a foundation of governance since the implementation of all government development programmes start from the grassroots.
The elections, held at the village level, saw voters line up behind their preferred candidates, and according to Makuza, this is the most transparent way that Rwandans have chosen and are happy with.
“To me really, this is the most transparent system. Some people have criticized it but to us, what is most important is that people are happy with it.”
He noted that the elections were calm and properly organized.
According to the coordinator of elections in Nyarugenge District, Peter Bazatoha, the turnout was impressive, although there was a slight delay caused by the bad weather.
“By 10:00 a.m., voting was going on at all sites and what seemed to be unique this time is that there was a huge turnout of students,” Bazatoha said.
Charles Nkusi, who was re-elected at the head of Imena Village, in Kiyovu Cell, said that in his previous mandate, he concentrated on advocating for infrastructure development in his area, and that in his new mandate, he intends to put more emphasis on modern gardening, education, sanitation and hygiene.
At the same site, there was Senator Rwigamba Balinda who said that, true democracy has to take root at the grassroots and that Rwanda’s system of lining up should be adopted by other countries since it leaves no space of doubting the results.
The Minister of Local Government, James Musoni, also voted from the same station and noted that the turnout indicates that people have understood the value the local elections and have owned them.
Yesterday’s elections were meant to elect a five-man administrative committee at the village level, four women councilors to the sector advisory council (SAC) and one representative in SAC from the cell level.
Others elected is the administrative committee of the National Youth Council at the cell level made up of eight members and the 30 percent of women representatives in the cell advisory council.