The buzz words in Kigali at the moment are customer care. The Prime Minister Bernard Makuza, has written to all government departments alerting them of a Clients Charter, part of the process in implementing the February National Leadership Retreat resolutions.
The leadership retreat dealt in detail with the state of service delivering in the country, which they agreed needed improving, especially if Rwanda is to be a competitive player in the East African Community.
Basically the Clients Charter draws the line in terms of the services those dealing with government officials are entitled to.
For long we have had to endure the complacency of those in the service delivering industry, not just in government but even in the private sector.
Try to get a service from an institution and you can almost regret ever attempting to. The most demoralizing bit being the lackadaisical attitude some have towards their work. You then wonder how they got that job in the first place.
The attitude has been that you need the service, so you be patient, you be calm, just be thankful we will be with you at our earliest convenience. No need to worry about time wasted or profits lost.
However, the current reform attitude means the buck now stops with those providing the services, they have to take responsibility meaning that clients have had their rightful title of ‘king’ bestowed upon them.
Some of the rules in the Clients Charter include, the clients right to know how long a service is going to take, including – its gets better – the contacts of a government official in higher authority to whom complaints can be channeled.
This places a big onus on Claire Akamanzi in her capacity as the Chairperson of the Cabinet-appointed committee which deals with service delivery. Let us see rules in place that determine better quality service delivery.
A simple ‘we are sorry we cannot assist you on that issue at the moment’ accompanied by a smile, goes a long way.