Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wasum Augustine: The Mayor With a Vision for Balikumbat

By Fai Cassian Ndi
Wasum Augustine: Mayor of Balikumbat council
 On September 16, 2013, history repeated itself in Balikumbat council with the incumbent mayor, Wasum
 Harping on why he was elected for a second mandate, Wasum Augustine said that “ this is due to the projects realized within the first mandate”. He continued that in his acceptance speech, he told the population that his being elected is one thing and the collaboration the population will give him is another prerequisite that will make them succeed. “For those hurt me or thus whom I hurt ignorantly, I have forgiven them and I also ask for forgiveness if I did hurt any, so that together we join hands to develop the municipality” he pleaded.  When quizzed whether this mandate would be the last one, Wasum said he is not the one deciding. “It is the will of the people. First and foremost, I did not know I was to be elected but the people gave me the trust due to my achievements”. He appreciated the people of Balikumbat for voting the CPDM and concluded that though a politician he will work as a mayor for all without any political leniency. 
Augustine being catapulted as mayor. From all indications, Wasum Augustine has moved up the ladder to the hall of fame and has mastered the game of keeping himself at the top through the provision of basic needs. But what are his development challenges? The first thing people say of him is that Wasum Augustine has the maturity and experience needed to face the challenges of this important position. The second thing is that he inspires those around him to be the best they can be and, as mayor, he has the trusted to provide the strong leadership required for Balikumbat Council to make the best decisions on matters concerning its inhabitants. In a chat with this reporter, Wasum Augustine said the mayor is not an administrator but someone whose job is to look into the problems of his people and provide long lasting solutions. According to Wasum Augustine, the overriding importance of education, health facilities, roads and access to potable water in the municipality is primordial and need to be given special attention for development to be sustainable. An action which according to the mayor elect, he started with the support of PNDP and GP DERUDEP given that Balikumbat council already has strategic development plan for the municipality. Wasum Augustine acknowledges that “I was elected mayor in 2007 when it was important for me to be there and I am back again because it is important for me to be there for the betterment of the people”.  He however observed that for him to succeed in this task of transforming the municipality, he would need the collaboration of the population and the administration. “The people of this municipality renewed their trust in me by electing me to continue to champion the development of the council again. You need to know that I brought in development experts who came up with a blue-print of the entire council area and I have been working with these guide lines. This second mandate will permit me to continue where I last ended”.

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