We cannot afford to slow down - Kagame

KIMIHURURA- President Paul Kagame yesterday hailed local government leaders for meeting most of the development targets set in the 2010/11 Performance contracts (Imihigo), observing that there is no room for complacency. The Head of State made the remarks at the Parliamentary buildings where he was the guest of honour as provincial Governors presented the achievements of the 2010/11 performance contracts and signed the 2011/2012 contracts.
President Paul Kagame (R), with the Mayor of Rulindo, Justus Kangwagye, whose district emerged the best overall, at the Parliamentary buildings, yesterday. The New Times/Village Urugwiro.
President Paul Kagame (R), with the Mayor of Rulindo, Justus Kangwagye, whose district emerged the best overall, at the Parliamentary buildings, yesterday. The New Times/Village Urugwiro.

KIMIHURURA- President Paul Kagame yesterday hailed local government leaders for meeting most of the development targets set in the 2010/11 Performance contracts (Imihigo), observing that there is no room for complacency.

The Head of State made the remarks at the Parliamentary buildings where he was the guest of honour as provincial Governors presented the achievements of the 2010/11 performance contracts and signed the 2011/2012 contracts.

President Kagame, who had earlier presented awards to the 10 best performing districts, following the evaluation report by the Prime Minister Bernard Makuza, said that there is visible progress and all districts performed well amidst stiff competition.

As a competition goes, President Kagame said, there is always the first and the last but the most important thing is that the evaluation made showed that all districts had performed well, and that the citizens played a role in the progress.

The Head of State added that the achievements of the past year are evidence of what happens when citizens are given the right to make their choices and are part of decision making processes.

President Kagame observed that such achievements, which the people are an integral part of, are usually sustainable and can never be assailed  or downplayed by detractors because they speak for themselves.

Kagame, however, said that much as all the districts performed well, those that came last need to improve because being the last shows that there is still room for improvement, urging those that emerged best to continue doing more.

The Head of State commended the districts that improved in the rankings and called on those whose performance declined to recommit, noting that there is no reason for anyone to backtrack.

Kagame said that it is time for the leaders to assess where things did not go particularly well in the past year and address them in the coming year.

The President urged local government leaders to take the criticism of their performance positively and use it as a platform to address pending issues.

“The most important thing is to continue with the current development path. From one level to another---we must keep going forward,” Kagame said, adding that over the years, Imihigo has become a culture which should be maintained.

The Head of State noted that where the targets were not met, it is usually an issue of the leadership failing to fulfil their duties and lack of coordination on the part of the leaders, because in most cases, citizens have no problem doing their bit and what they need is guidance.

Kagame called on local government leaders to work closely with the people  as good leadership relates with the people, noting that this coordination will ensure that they build on the current achievements.

The Head of State called on districts to speed up the processes to provide biogas in schools and households and ensure that milk collection centres are in place and put to proper use.

On sanitation and health, President Kagame said that there has been great improvement but called for further action to ensure that Rwandans maintain high standards of hygiene to avoid preventable diseases.

The Head of State also emphasised the need for the country to stay on course in ensuring food security, observing that the current famine in the region should serve as a warning.

Kagame said that while resources may be insufficient, the government will do whatever is takes to address some of the outstanding issues like salaries of civil servants and teachers.

The Governors and the Mayor of Kigali highlighted next year’s targets and the budget required to achieve the set goals. President Kagame pledged the commitment of the Central Government to ensure that the set goals are achieved.

A general improvement in agriculture, economic performance, growth in Girinka (One Cow per Family), Mutuelle de Sante coverage, environmental protection and a positive trend in the socio-economic welfare of all Rwandans were registered over the past year.

This is the fifth time Local Government Leaders have signed performance contracts. The first were signed in 2006.

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