On December 8th 2020, during the District Dialogue Forum, Rulindo District leaders met with Community Representatives to reflect on citizens’ priority issues raised through the Community Score Card (CSC) ; an approach to engaging citizens in participatory governance.
The reflection meeting was organized by the Rwanda Men’s Resource Centre (RWAMREC) through the Public Policy Information Monitoring and Advocacy project (PPIMA) ; that is implemented by RWAMREC in Rulindo district, with funding from the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA).
Sector-level Community Representatives, who are also known as Governance Focal Persons (GFPs), presented to the District’ leaders thirty-three (33) priority matters ; selected amongst two hundred and forty-seven (247) issues that were raised by the Community – affecting women, youth, disabled groups, historically marginalized groups amongst other. Most of those pointed at problems of infrastructure, land use and expropriation.
Venant Nzabonimana-RWAMREC’s Chair Person on the left, District Executive Secretary-Bizumuremyi Ally Bashir in the middle and Rulindo district Vice Mayor in charge of Social Affair-on the right listen and respond to citizens’ priorities
Responding to the queries from the GFPs, District authorities stated that most of the issues raised are already laid out in the District action plan ; and, furthermore, requested community members to ensure they contribute to the sustainability of all Government endeavors.
As put by the District Executive Mr. Ally Bashir Bizumuremyi “Many of the issues mentioned are in the District’s action plan ; such as the plan for the construction of nine (9) bridges and roads ; and others in the long term. Community members are requested and expected to provide their contribution in the execution of these plans by ensuring ownership and sustainability.”
Additionally, GFPs discussed issues affecting the social wellbeing of community members ; such as the raise in numbers of teenage pregnancies and the failure to deal with perpetrators adequately.
The Vice-Mayor in charge of Social affairs, Mrs. Gasanganwa Claire urged for reinforced partnership of both local leaders and community members, to effectively deal with the issue of teenage pregnancy.
She said “I request all of us to work together and take teenage pregnancy as a very serious matter that requires quick response measures ; such as timely information-sharing ; and the strengthening of the evening forum for families, as a safe space to discuss family issues that include GBV and teenage pregnancy, amongst others.”
RWAMREC’s Chairperson, Mr. Venant Nzabonimana applauded the endeavor to engage citizens from the planning to the execution of programs.
Mr. Venant stated that in previous times, there was little contact and relationship between Community members and Government officials ; but that today, more than ever, Community members are actively involved in the planning processes by raising issues and contributing to forming solutions ; which is a good indication of effective implementation. He added that RWAMREC is committed to continuing its partnership with the Rulindo District to further build peaceful communities and fight against GBV ; particularly by engaging men and boys.
Over 30 people from various sectors - that are beneficiaries of the PPIMA interventions in the year 2020- (Bushoki, Base, Ntarabana, Shyorongo, Burega and Rukozo) attended the District Dialogue Forum ; including the District Executive Committee members, the Sector and District Council Members, the Sector Executive Secretaries, the Sector-level GFPs representatives, Security organs, the Police, District-level unit Directors amongst others ; with live broadcast from Radio Flash FM.