No elections for district officials in Kigali

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Not all districts of Kigali city will be involved in the local elections scheduled for October 2021.

However, the ballots will be cast at the village, cell and sector level in these districts.

Local elections will be held the last week of October after a delay of almost a year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

However, these elections will not include the urban districts of the city of Kigali due to the reforms adopted in 2019 to remove the legal personality of the districts.

As part of these reforms, the town hall became the only office that decides what is done in all districts of the capital and, as a result, the District Advisory Council was abolished.

According to Charles Munyaneza, the executive secretary of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), the elections will not take place at the Kigali district level because there are no advisers to vote.

“In fact, in other neighborhoods, the mayor is elected by the advisory council, but for urban neighborhoods, this council has been abolished since the new law came into force in 2020, so the elections will not have place, ”he said.

Asked why this law was enacted in Kigali, Munyaneza said urban districts need specific laws as they constitute the capital.

“The urban districts have lost legal personality to become a single entity as they constitute the capital, so these changes improve the socio-economic impacts of the capital and facilitate effective planning,” he said.

Munyaneza added that under this structure, the city of Kigali becomes the decision maker and the urban districts become the implementers.

Therefore, he said, Kigali city elections will be held in 2024 when local leaders complete their 5-year term which began in 2019.

The reforms approved by parliament and published at the end of July 2019 aim to reduce bureaucracy and improve the efficiency of city administration.

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