The secret behind Kicukiro’s stellar performance

LEADERS of Kicukiro district, which holds last year’s best award for performance contracts, locally known as Imihigo, say the trick lies in putting great emphasis on the costly but rewarding economic development activities, in addition to social welfare, good governance and justice.
Some of the houses that  have recently been constructed in kicukiro District. The New Times/Timothy Kisambira.
Some of the houses that have recently been constructed in kicukiro District. The New Times/Timothy Kisambira.

LEADERS of Kicukiro district, which holds last year’s best award for performance contracts, locally known as Imihigo, say the trick lies in putting great emphasis on the costly but rewarding economic development activities, in addition to social welfare, good governance and justice.

The district leaders also stressed that generation of own revenue  from the district and public-private partnership enables them to keep on track. This has helped the district move from fifth to third and eventually first position.

Economic development activities account for 60 per cent during the performance contract evaluation, while the three other pillars share the remaining percentage.

These development activities include investment, infrastructure projects like roads, houses as well as venturing into energy and hygiene, water and sanitation.

In the previous fiscal year, Kicukiro district allocated Rwf 5.6 billion out of the Rwf7.1 billion budget to economic activities.

“There are districts which scored better than we did in other sectors, and hadn’t we focused much on the economy, we would not have taken the lead,” says Jean de Dieu Musoni, the district’s director of planning, monitoring and evaluation.

He cited a real estate in Nyarugunga sector with 50 houses constructed on a piece of land the district availed to a private developer, among the projects that fetched marks for the district.

“Without even developing houses, it’s a great contribution when we assure investors that they will get tenants,” said Musoni.

He was referring to the Rwf2.8 billion modern market in Kabeza cell, Kanombe sector, where they facilitated an investor to get all the documents required to start the project. Now, the market is occupied by 1,200 tenants.  

Acccess to power and water

This fiscal year, the district has allocated Rwf6.1 billion out of over Rwf8.7 billion budget to economic development activities. It will be spent on building two tarmac roads and lighting up newly established residential houses, among other activities.

The leaders’ dream is to extend clean water and electricity to all residents before the next performance contracts evaluation in June. Power currently reaches 38 cells out of 41 cells in the district.

The leaders say, the three remaining cells, including Rusheshe, Ayabaraya and Mbabe in Masaka sector will be connected to the power grid within the next one month, while Nyarurama in Gatenga sector, the only cell without clean water, is to be connected also in the near future.

According to mayor Paul Jules Ndamage, the idea is to focus on own revenues for their activities, so that they don’t rely much on external support.

“We are very proud of the new office block where we will soon relocate to,” he said, pointing at a four- storey building worth Rwf 650 million constructed using district revenue.

“This is how we have understood the notion of self reliance the President always empasises. We shall never ignore the capacity of Rwandans to build their own country,” he said.

Musoni told The New Times recently, that of their 34 performance targets, 20 have been implemented by over 50 per cent. Among them are 31 classrooms which were completed in November.

On complaints of delays to deliver services, especially in issuing land documents, the district leaders maintain that when the land agent receives a client’s document, in return, they give them a note indicating what time they should seek response.

It takes 30 days to get a building license in Kicukiro district, while authorisation for rehabilitation at sector level takes seven days.

Since the district has adopted the newly launched e-document system where a document filed is simultaneously accessed by concerned officials, the leaders think tracking a document will be easy. 

What residents say

Robert Ntigura, a businessman who has concluded the construction of  a four-storey house opposite Kicukiro district office said, “Through the district council and the public private sector forum the district involves the citizen in decision making, that’s how they succeed.”

Jean Claude Munganyimana, a cleaner at Banque Populaire du Rwanda, Gikondo branch, said he commends security in Kicukiro district, following night patrols they contribute to pay.

“Security leads to economic development. Since we do not have robberies in this district, business keeps improving,” he said.

He was echoed by Clever Rurangwa, a hardware dealer in  Gikondo, Nyenyeli,  who said, the more infrastructure availed, the more development is witnessed .

He was referring to Gashyekero village in Gikondo sector which had no power until early this year. Now, he is renting out his house at triple the price he used to ask for last year.

Alphonse Hakizimana, a motorcyclist from Kicukiro centre, said the drive to construct more tarmac roads is positive.

“The infrastructure is good news to us. Believe me, we get water rarely and power is always on and off,” said the Gikondo resident. 

District authorities say this is beyond the capacity of the district.

 “It has a lot to do with water/power distribution policy by Energy Water and sanitation Authority (EWSA),” they said. 

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