Residents have publicly accused their grassroots leaders of not doing enough to address their problems. This has forced top government officials to attend to petty issues that should have otherwise been handled by local authorities.
Whereas there has been some progress with regard to how grassroots leaders engage residents to jointly find solutions to the identified challenges, it is evident that some cases take frustratingly long to be resolved as was demonstrated during last month’s Umushyikirano (National Dialogue).
Certainly no one can dispute the fact that the majority of local leaders are doing an impressive job considering the socio-economic transformation that has been registered at the grassroots level, but the achievements can be multiplied if all the local leaders endeavored to carry out their responsibilities timely and effectively.
The role of local leaders in the country’s development cannot be overemphasized especially since the household forms a critical part of the government’s development agenda. Such community-based initiatives as Akarima k’Igikoni (kitchen garden), milk-feeding campaign, Crop Intensification Programme (CIP), and family performance contracts (Imihigo) can hardly achieve their intended objectives without the active involvement and sustained dedication of local leaders.
As we begin a new year, it is imperative that grassroots leaders significantly improve service delivery, and do it with a sense of urgency.