The Minister of Local Government (minaloc), Protais Musoni, has publicly admitted that there are serious challenges to wrestle with vis-à-vis service delivery at local administrative levels.
In a consultative plenary session with lawmakers at the Lower Chamber of Deputies yesterday morning, Musoni acknowledged tendencies of corruption, among others.
“In general, these problems are present but they are different from those we had in the past,” Musoni admitted, citing some improvements but said more efforts are needed to fix the hitches.
Presenting the matter before parliament, the head of parliament’s Political Affairs Committee, Bernadette Kanzayire had stressed some administrative glitches, citing people, especially in Kigali, who have spent more than two years trying to acquire land titles.
Local leaders also have a tendency of not availing themselves to people so as to solve their problems as required.
“They give people appointments but they don’t keep them, people later give up on getting assistance after wasting much of their valued time,” she pointed out, asking the minister to explain what measures were in place to deal with that and others, including widespread corruption in tendering and land title giving processes.
Musoni gave details about the bottlenecks in general, saying that many tasks by one person and the linked budget constraints, among others, resulted in people’s issues not being timely addressed.
“There are indicators of a positive change and the trend is good since 2005,” Musoni said, further explaining the measures taken, including the programme of leaders attending to people’s issues in the office in the morning and heading directly to visit communities in the afternoon.
On corruption tendencies, he stressed that despite a “zero tolerance” policy, it is still worrying as it appears even at district level. He, however, added that human resource inspection manuals, among others, have been instituted.
Musoni said that a land bureau at national level and a lands commission at district level were set up to help people get land titles promptly.
The minister explained that the last cabinet meeting proposed that there be a time limit on the period spent while looking for a land title.
“Even though problems cannot completely disappear, measures to curtail them are being implemented,” he said.
Although the lawmakers appreciated the minister’s initial presentation, some 20 others had more questions and proposals.
Among others, Libérata Kayitesi and others proposed a hot-line for people to report malpractices and also supported the idea of punishing wrongdoers.