KIGALI - A contender for the senatorial seat in the City of Kigali, Jeanne d’Arc Gakuba, has said that she will prioritise education and health, if she wins the September 26 elections.
In an exclusive interview with The New Times, Gakuba noted that for the country to achieve its targets, there was need to provide Rwandans with basic needs like education.
Gakuba, who served as the Vice Mayor in Kigali city for two terms, said that she will also advocate for gender equality…“not only to have many females in service, but to also have females who have the will and ability to deliver to the required standards”.
“After years of political and technical services, I thought it wise to continue serving the government in the Senate; and contesting in Kigali was to continue serving the region and the people I have served for many years. I know the people of Kigali and their needs,” she added.
Gakuba, 51, served as the Vice Mayor in charge of women promotion and gender between 2001 and 2005 and was re-elected in 2006 and became Vice Mayor in charge of social development in the city.
She is credited for initiating the campaign to beautify the city, which she launched in 2001.
During her 10-year leadership in the city, Gakuba, who holds a degree in geography, is said to have helped the youth, especially the jobless and vendors, by organizing them in sanitation and hygiene cooperative societies, which has seen Kigali become one of the cleanest cities in Africa.
“But people should not expect that I am going to bring schools or roads…the duties of the Senate, like any other government institution, are well stated; to vet laws, following up the implementation of government programmes and policies like unity and reconciliation, fighting the Genocide ideology and other policies to build the country,” she explained.
“All these programmes are already in place; but there is need to follow up on their implementation, which I am going to ensure because I have the expertise in good governance and social development,” she noted.
Gakuba emphasized that she will help sensitise Rwandans to be part of the country’s development agenda.
“If we leave everything to the government, we will not achieve the country’s targets. There is need for everyone to get on board, to work together to realize the country’s targets”.
She highlighted cleanliness, improving on the performance of the Kigali schools and mobilizing former vendors and the jobless into cooperative societies, as one of her top achievements during her spell in the city.
Currently, there are 57 youth cooperative societies in the city.
Gakuba said that the implementation of the master plan is one of the major challenges in Kigali.
“This is another thing that I will continue to help with once I am elected.
This is a big plan we started which has a roadmap, but there is need for resources to implement it. Rwandans also need to be sensitized about its (master plan) importance, to also get on board”.
Only one, out of nine contestants in Kigali, will be elected.