HUYE — The Prime Minister Bernard Makuza has cautioned district leaders against breaching contracts with development partners.
Speaking at a function to evaluate districts performance after the first quarter, in Huye district on Monday, Makuza said he was disappointed with Huye district authorities who have failed to honor their financial obligations with private entrepreneurs.
However, Huye Mayor Aimable Twagiramutara expressed ignorance about the debt. The premier’s remarks followed complaints raised by Francois Rutayisire, the President of Private Sector Federation (PSF) in the province over the failure by some districts to pay off their creditors.
Rutayisire singled out Huye district which reportedly accumulated debts since 2004. Rutayisire noted that such conduct hinders development. He did not however disclose the amount the district owes development partners.
In his response, the Premier Makuza said, “Such issues should not be coming up five years after the start of the decentralisation programme. Mechanisms like the Joint Action Forum should have addressed such issues.”
He explained that one of the resolutions of the Akagera retreat was that entrepreneurs be paid within 30 days after they have completed their work. He called for coordination between different levels of administration, saying bickering hinders development.
Makuza said that the three pillars of Good governance, Justice and Social Welfare should influence economic development.
“Having an efficient judicial system, respecting human rights, social welfare and many other interventions should lead people to development, which is the desired end,” said Makuza.
He observed that achieving development goals enshrined in the Vision 2020 requires a change of mindset and proper time management.
Makuza applauded initiatives by districts geared towards development. He lauded Kamonyi district for setting up the Kamonyi Investment Group and urged all Rwandans to be innovative.
The Kamonyi Investment Group has so far raised start up capital of over Frw700million.
Speaking at the same function, the Minister of Local Government Protais Musoni urged district leaders to always encourage communities to feel ownership of development projects. He said that the participation of the local population in development activities will ensure sustenance.
Minister Musoni asked district leaders to learn and adopt best practices in other districts. He applauded the start up of a basket fund for different sectors in Nyaruguru, creation of zones in the same district to enhance community policing and the use of human waste as fertilisers in Nyamagabe.
All districts were asked to identify Hills of Excellence in every Cell so that they act as models of development. On his part, Provincial Gov. Fidèle Ndayisaba noted that an independent evaluation conducted by the Province with the help of the private sector, police and army, Civil Society and religious leaders revealed that performance contracts have revolutionised the way business is run in districts.
Meanwhile, the evaluation team awarded marks to the different districts where Nyamagabe came on top followed by Kamonyi with Huye and Nyanza in the last positions. The exercise to continue countrywide was yesterday carried out in the Northern Province. The function was also attended by senior government ministers, MPs, army and police authorities in the Province.