RWAMAGANA — The National Electoral Commission (NEC) boss has appealed to local leaders to step up civic education on the forthcoming elections. This will ensure effective participation of locals in the polling exercise.
Prof. Chrisologue Karangwa made the call on Monday while addressing a meeting bringing together leaders of the Eastern Province that included the Governor, Dr. Ephraim Kabaija, districts mayors and sector executive secretaries at Avega Centre.
“Coordination of electoral activities will be centred at Sector level, sites will be located at Cell level, but sensitisation must be at Umudugudu (village) level,” Karangwa said, urging leaders to own the whole process.
He explained that for smooth running of elections, there will be a committee at sector level chaired by the sector executive secretary.
The members that will constitute the committee include women representative, youth representative, community policing representative and an electoral commission representative.
According to Prof. Karangwa, the officials should be in charge of civic education, cautioning residents against voting candidates basing on ethnic background and to sensitise Rwandans on turning up in big numbers on election days.
Prof. Karangwa noted that cooperation and security are necessary for free and fair elections to be conducted. On candidates, he urged participants to enlighten residents on the importance of choosing representatives who can deliver development in their areas.
During the meeting, the electoral commission officials handed out manuals, handbooks and journals containing the electoral procedures and the dates when the elections will be conducted.
According to the programme, the 2008 elections will be preceded by elections of Committees of Persons of Integrity at Umudugudu level scheduled for the 5th of July.
Elections for committees at cell, sector and district level will follow later in July and August respectively while the elections for members of the Chamber of Deputies are scheduled for September.
During the same occasion, the Minister of Commerce, Monique Nsanzabaganwa presented Rwanda’s first Trade Map highlighting the country’s towns, trading centres, markets and commodities produced countrywide. The map uses Geographic Information System (GIS) and Geographic Positioning Systems.
It was formulated by (GIS) of the National University of Rwanda through the Commerce ministry.