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Councillors ashamed back to electors, DALGOR study reveals

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At a time when some peasants are complaining that the people they elect to represent them here and there do not serve as channels of their wishes and they are waiting for more elections to come back, some elected local Councillors reveal that they are ashamed to reappear before the voter population as long as the promises given are not yet honoured.

Some elected local councillors who spoke with bwiza.com revealed that the fact that they do not participate in planning activities prevents their wishes from being taken into account. Thus, the promises given to the people during elections cannot be honoured.

A local councillor from Kamonyi District, anonymously, said that even though they are involved in planning, it is only to bless the work done by district technicians in the field. “They present the planning already developed, they give some explanations, and we approve,” he says.

He adds that councillors do not have time to read this planning to find out if their wishes have been put into practice. “Only the chairman of the finance committee reads this planning which is given to him on the spot! Some elected local councillors do not know if the wishes of their people have been taken into consideration or not. With that, they are ashamed to return to them.”

Another district councillor from Rusizi says that the wishes of the people are submitted to the district council. And if they are not considered in the planning given the priorities, they are kept in a register waiting for a possible review. However, he indicates that in such cases where the wishes have not been answered in a positive manner, some councillors entrust the executive secretaries of the sectors or cells with the task of conveying this disappointing result to the population.

Research conducted by RALGA proves the situation

The fact that the promises made by the councillors to the population during their electoral campaigns are not honoured, makes these advisers no longer reappear before them. The study “
State of Interaction between Elected Local Councillors and Constituencies in Rwanda: Implications for Accountable Local Governance” was conducted by RALGA on the cohabitation of the population and local elected officials published in 2018, shows that out of 100 elected local councillors , only 43 remain in contact with those who elected them.

The research shows that when the elected local councillors reside where they carry out their councillorship duties, the more citizens’ trust in them increases. Equally, the more they reside where they carry out their councillorship duties, the more citizens’ real problems and needs are easily noticeable to ELC through personal observation. It also indicates that elected local councillors are more responsive when they reside in their respective constituencies.

“It is important that Councillors reside where they carry out their responsibilities, otherwise they miss many things. When a Councillor is around, s/he can easily know the problems without any mistake; this means that the consequences are good because we live with people whom we represent, and we get to know problems quickly and we solve them quickly and easily; in fact it is good to live together with people whom you represent”, the research says.

Telesphore KABERUKA

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