The Rwamagana District offices are always open to citizens seeking services as well as information or want to engage in the district’s development, Mayor Radjab Mbonyumuvunyi said this Thursday during a live talk show on Radio Izuba.
The talk show organised by Rwanda Development Organisation (RDO) in partnership with Rwamagana District and supported by SNV discussed the role of citizen participation in the district development process including planning and budgeting.
Mayor Mbonyumuvunyi observed that people’s suggestions and wishes are always included in the district’s planning but because of limited resources some are not immediately implemented until the district can get the means to do so.
He revealed that Rwamagana District has set-up different mediums to correct those ideas including open door policy, designated Tuesday afternoon to receive anyone, during monthly community work and during public events, toll-free telephone lines and live radio talk shows, which have been the focus during this period where there are measures to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Eugene Rwibasira, the Executive Secretary of RDO said that citizens’ participation in planning and budgeting process is important for effective allocation of the budget for implementation and coordination of relevant agriculture, food and nutrition security interventions.
Rwibasira underlined the importance of the discussions particularly where the mayor goes on air to talk and explain to his residents about the development of the district as a step in the right direction.
“We applaud the district for such discussions and for citizens, we encourage them to be confident to ask their leaders what they need to know and put them to task,” Rwibasira said. Adding that people should forget the past when they didn’t have a say or feared to ask leaders because they could have repercussions when they did.
RDO has been organising similar discussions in different districts in the context of Voice for Change Partnership for improved food and nutrition security funded by SNV. The live talk shows are a way of raising awareness on the citizens’ rights of participating in development initiatives.
Through such discussions issues are raised pertaining development process in general and agriculture sector in particular where possible solutions come up.
Of recent, the discussions have been held on community radio stations because of coronavirus preventive measures of not holding big public gatherings but it has also presented an opportunity that allow citizens to talk freely during call-ins and messaging through social media.