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Six Districts Get New Mayors Ahead of 2024 Major Elections

Eight districts held local elections on Thursday to fill vacant executive committees and district councils. 

From the district councils, new mayors were appointed. Some districts had remained without mayors when they were dismissed due to incompetence and corruption. 

The Chairperson National Electoral Commission, Oda Gasinzigwa said that new leaders should assume their responsibilities to honor the trust people have in them and deliver on government promises. 

The new leaders take positions as Rwanda prepares for presidential and parliamentary elections in 2024. Mrs. Gasinzigwa emphasized that “Election is meant for having leaders who serve the people and effectively fulfill their responsibilities so that those who voted for them and the pledges they made during campaigns bring about change in line with citizens’ development.”

These new grassroots leaders will be under enormous pressure to improve service delivery and help their constituents overcome the adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Rwandans will be hoping there will be more accountability and improved citizen-centered service delivery.

This change of guard is critical at the moment as decentralized administrative entities are at the center of the implementation of socio-economic programs targeting the vulnerable and many at risk of falling below the poverty line following a pandemic.

Already many districts grappled with difficulties around delivering human and social development before the pandemic and food and headline inflation exacerbated the socio-economic situation that threw several households into the vulnerability bracket.

Other districts with new mayors include Nyamasheke, which saw Narcisse Mupenzi elected its mayor. He replaces Appolonie Mukamasabo, who was dismissed on August 28 by the district council citing misconduct and failure to accomplish her duties.

Former Musanze District Mayor, former Burera Mayor, and Jean-Marie Vianney Nizeyimana former Gakenke Mayor were dismissed after being implicated in the event which was reportedly meant for the installation of the so-called Abakono clan chief – an event the government said could impair Rwandans unity through sectarianism.

In Karongi District, Valentine Mukase was elected mayor. Her predecessor, Vestine Mukarutesi, was suspended from the position of Mayor by the district council on October 23, citing failure to accomplish her duties.

In Rubavu District, Prosper Mulindwa was voted its mayor, replacing Ildephonse Kambogo.

Kambogo resigned on Friday, May 5, during an extra-ordinary seating of the district’s advisory council. According to the Ministry of Local Government, Kambogo’s resignation was linked to mismanagement of the disaster response effort in his area.

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