Ministers, ambassadors to sign Imihigo

Cabinet ministers will now be required to sign Imihigo (performance contracts) with the President of the Republic. This is one of the recommendations of the Ninth annual Umushyikirano (National Dialogue) that concluded yesterday at the Parliamentary Building, Kimihurura.
President Kagame and the First Lady with government officials and guests during a reception at Village Urugwiro after the Umushyikirano. The New Times / Village Urugwiro.
President Kagame and the First Lady with government officials and guests during a reception at Village Urugwiro after the Umushyikirano. The New Times / Village Urugwiro.

Cabinet ministers will now be required to sign Imihigo (performance contracts) with the President of the Republic. This is one of the recommendations of the Ninth annual Umushyikirano (National Dialogue) that concluded yesterday at the Parliamentary Building, Kimihurura.

Others to sign Imihigo are the country’s ambassadors and high commissioners, who will sign the contracts with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

The decision was taken in the spirit of the government’s commitment to enhancing efficiency, public transparency and accountability.

The proposal to have ambassadors sign performance contracts was forwarded by a member of the Rwandan Diaspora, who sent a message from the US, saying that it is important for ambassadors to make commitments and be accountable to the people they represent.

It was reasoned that just like local government leaders, ministers and diplomats needed to make commitments, which, if not met, might come with consequences.

The decision is one of the resolutions adopted at the end of the two-day meeting which brought together local and central government leaders, representatives of private sector, civil society, religious groups, as well as members the diplomatic corps and the Rwandan Diaspora.

The resolutions which are categorized in four clusters, namely; economy, good governance, justice and social welfare, will be implemented over the next one year. The progress will be assessed during the 10th Umushyikirano at the end of 2012.

In his closing remarks, President Paul Kagame noted that the Dialogue provided a platform for Rwandans to engage with their leaders about how to consolidate the country’s progress as well as addressing the existing challenges.

The Head of State observed that the fact that none of the calls or messages that came in during the Dialogue reflected the criticism directed toward the country reaffirmed the fact that those criticisms were unfounded.

“I was actually asking myself if there was a possibility that the people who called in were being selected or if their messages sent on Twitter of Facebook were being filtered as they came in because I was not hearing all these negative things said about Rwanda,” Kagame said.

“So, I had to ask the Prime Minister to make sure that people were not being censored from saying whatever they wanted to say. He gave me assurances and evidence to prove that the contributions came in uncensored.”

The President, however, said that Rwandans should always try to get something good out of the negative criticism, to avoid any complacency.

He added that the achievements Rwandans have recorded are for their own good, noting the progress registered so far should help propel the nation to greater heights.

The Minister of Public Service and Labour, Anastase Murekezi, presented a report which indicated that Rwandans appreciate the improvement in service delivery within public service as well as business community, in general.

The research, which was carried out by the Rwandan Governance Board (RGB) through citizens’ scorecard, showed that the population was satisfied with the improvements in the areas of health, transport, doing business and social service delivery. It was, however, noted that the government needed to invest more in infrastructure.

The Minister of State for Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Mathias Harebamungu, said all public institutions of higher learning will be merged to form the University of Rwanda in a bid to improve quality and resource utilization.

Later in the evening, the delegates were hosted to a Christmas party at Village Urugwiro.

edmund.kagire@newtimes.co.rw

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