KIGALI - The newly elected district mayors have vowed to live up to their promises to the electorate by working tirelessly towards delivering on the country’s development goals.
The new mayors, elected last month, yesterday held a meeting with President Paul Kagame at Urugwiro Village during which he challenged them to diligently serve the people who elected them and to put the country’s interests ahead of their own.
The Minister of Local Government, James Musoni, told reporters after the meeting that the Head of State invited the mayors to give them a “word of inspiration” and advice as they kick off their five-year mandate.
“It has been a very important moment indeed because it is the first time the new mayors have met the President in their new term of office.
It is also important because it is the first time the President has met mayors in his new term of office as well,” Musoni said.
“It was mainly aimed at giving them encouragement and advice and, at the same time, remind them of their obligations which include dedicated service and addressing the needs of the people,” he added.
Musoni added that President Kagame asked the mayors to work hard to achieve socio-economic development and promoting peace and stability in their particular districts and the country as a whole.
He reminded the mayors the principles of a good leader which include ambition, selflessness, hard work, service delivery, transparency and honesty – which are critical in the fulfilment of leadership responsibilities.
President Kagame commended the mayors upon their respective election victory, and promised them his support during their term in office.
The mayors, in return, pledged to help President Kagame achieve his promises to Rwandans and his government’s targets in the new seven-year term.
Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, the Mayor of Karongi, Bernard Kayumba, said that the new local government leaders left the meeting with high morale and determination to serve the people.
“For us, it’s a great moment which has come at the beginning of our term in office. We can only go back determined and encouraged to do more,” he noted.
“From his advice, we feel strongly encouraged to work hard towards the development of our people and our country in general”.
According to Musoni, the new mayors are “more capable and have strong leadership skills”, compared to their predecessors, adding that there won’t be many resignations as was the case with the pervious team.
“We hope that this group will perform better than their predecessors because they have stronger leadership skills and they have had more exposure,” Musoni said.
“We also think that we have drawn lessons from the past. Our institutions have also grown democratically and the same mistakes won’t be repeated”.
Musoni also noted that the government is keen on addressing imbalances in development between districts, adding that those that lag behind will be allocated more resources. Also in attendance were provincial governors.