Gahara sector in Kirehe district, eastern province, bordering Tanzania, has not had its executive secretary for a year and about five months now.
Rwanda has 416 sectors. Executive secretary of a sector is appointed after going through written and oral interview process managed by the Public Service Commission, the Local Government Ministry and the district.
In a sector, the official oversees civil marriage unions, in addition to being the signatory on many documents needed by ordinary people to get official documents like ID. They also wield considerable political authority over the territory.
For Gahara sector which has not had one for all this long, according to district officials, the responsibilities have been handled by the social affairs officer. However, local residents say the civil unions are sometimes conducted by the Kirehe district mayor Gerard Muzungu or by an executive secretary from another sector.
In other words, those who need such services have to wait for when the mayor or other officials have time.
Mayor Muzungu admitted to state broadcaster RBA that the process for getting Gahara sector executive secretary has dragged on for longer than they expected.
He said the interviews have been completed and the district is awaiting confirmation from the Rwanda Local Government Authorities Association (RALG) on the candidate.
The previous executive secretary was moved to Mpanga sector, but a replacement was not put in place for Gahara.
The case of this sector not having its designated official for this long is unprecedented. Usually, when an executive secretary is removed, an acting official is appointed within days and its not too long after that a substantive candidate is found.