March 17, 2019

Ugandan Major Newspaper Uses Rwanda Map Changed 17yrs Ago

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A screenshot of the website of ‘Daily Monitor’ displaying its editorial which is published in ‘Sunday Monitor’ print version

One of the biggest newspapers in Uganda “Daily Monitor” has published editorial in which it uses the map of Rwanda that was changed in 2002.

Before 2002, Rwanda was divided up into 11 prefectures, sub-prefectures and 154 communes. A new constitution was adopted in 2003, along which came administrative reforms.

From then, 17 years on, Rwanda is divided into four provinces and Kigali city. The country is further broken down to 30 districts, 416 sectors, 2,148 Cells and 14,837 Villages.

Each province is led by a Governor, appointed by the Head of State. The Mayor of Kigali is however elected from a complicated process, from down the villages to the 3 districts that make up the City of Kigali.

Each of the 30 districts is managed by a Mayor, who is elected by an electoral college voted right from the village level. The Mayor can only be removed by the District Council, composed of representatives from all walks of live in the district.

As for the sector, it is managed by an “Executive Secretary” – a technocrat who is named by the Public Service Commission from a competitive interview process.

The Minister of Local Government has power to sack the Sector Executive Secretary. And the district Mayor cannot remove the Sector Executive Secretary, but recommends to the District Council to remove the officer. The Mayor has to convince the many Council members.

With regard to the village, the lowest administrative level, it is headed by an unpaid volunteer elected by members of that particular village. The village head is supported by team of often 2 or 3 people, all chosen by community itself.

Current map of Rwanda changed 17 years ago

The editorial by the Ugandan paper Daily Monitor appears in the Sunday Monitor print version without a photo. However, on its site, the old map was published on Saturday night as is usually the case for content of the next day.

Daily Monitor is owned by Nation Media Group (NMG), headquartered in Kenya, and controls various other media in the region. In Rwanda, NMG operates an insert “Rwanda Today” published in the weekly The East African newspaper.

NMG also had radio KFM 98.7FM but was closed in 2016 for economic reasons. Today, it is still on and plays only music 24hours.

Using an old map is likely not to go down well with social media in Rwanda.

It also comes as Rwanda and Uganda governments are embroiled in a bitter row, and could be viewed in Rwanda, as part of the campaign to undermine the Government of Rwanda.

The editorial is titled: “Uganda should act with urgency on Rwanda issue

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