GOVERNANCE AND RIGHTS
The 3rd quarter coincided with a key event in governance in Rwanda, the Governance Month from 14 September to end of October 2016. It is organized by the Ministry of Local Government and Rwanda Governance Board, as a period dedicated to governance activities that enhance citizens’ rights, participation, transparency, accountability and service delivery at the local level. This year the Governance Month is being held under the theme, “Citizen-centred governance; a pillar for sustainable development”. During the launch of the governance month in Nyabihu district, the Minister of Local Government, Francis Kaboneka tasked local leaders to give more attention to citizen issues. Another key event which has a lot of significance within governance in Rwanda is the presentation of the ranking showing performance after an evaluation of all districts and the signing of Imihigo between the district mayors and the President H. E. Paul Kagame. As an organization dealing with governance-related issues, NAR has a vested interest in how the sectors and districts in which it operates performed in achieving the goals set in their respective performance contracts.
The 10 established citizen forums successfully conducted monthly meetings from July 2016 to September 2016. NAR launched two citizen forums in Nyarugenge (Mageragere sector) on the 16th of August 2016 at the Association Des Jeunes De Saint Charles Lwanga (AJECL) Hall and at Nyabihu (Mukamira sector) on the 10th of August 2016 at the Sunrise guest house. The aim of the Mageragere citizens’ forum launch was to encourage and enable citizen participation in governance, all the while strengthening the link between them and decision-makers. In launching the citizens’ forum, NAR partnered with district and sector leaders in Mageragere sector and Nyarugenge districts. The decision-makers who attended the event demonstrated great interest in citizen forums and promised to support them since their success will contribute to advancement of good governance practices, thus having a great impact on development of the citizens in Nyabihu and elsewhere.
Advocacy sub-committee and Joint Development Forum (JADF) meeting
During this past quarter, Never Again Rwanda attended a JADF Open Day in Byumba sector in Gicumbi district from the 17th – 19th August 2016 with the purpose of enhancing transparency and accountability by engaging citizens about their priorities and decisions, as well as district development activities towards sustainable development. Throughout the open day, NAR had an exhibition stand containing its publications; mainly activity reports, video documentaries and newsletters.
- Advocacy on the higher property tax in Mukamira sector, Nyabihu district. This resulted in the reduction in tax from RwF 30 to RwF 10 per square meter
- Advocacy on accountability of Mudugudu leader in Nyaruguru district
- Advocacy on fair land taxes and school drop outs in Rwamagana district