As April came to an end, mood in most dzongkhags where dzongdags were managed out had been sombre.
Social media were flooded with emotional videos of dzongkhag and local government officials bidding farewell to the dzongdags.
As Dagana dzongdag Duba left the dzongkhag on April 27 after serving for more than a year, there was massive outpouring of emotions on social media by individuals, gewog administrations, and agencies.
Many thanked the dzongdag for his guidance and developmental activities he initiated and monitored in the villages.
In its Facebook page, the dzongkhag administration the former dzongdag’s achievements, which included fixing accountability in public service delivery.
Most of the residents expressed sadness when the informal managed out list was first circulated among the public in March.
A Dagana resident said that he hoped the results would change in the final list, but was dismayed upon knowing that the dzongdag was leaving.
The former dzongdag was also popular among local government leaders (LG) and dzongkhag officials.
Tshendagang gup Bal Bahadur Rana, who is also the dzongkhag tshogdu chairperson, wrote on Facebook, describing Duba as a farsighted leader with clear goals and objectives. “Within a short period of time, Dasho has brought developments in our dzongkhag and he had further plans.”
Tseza gup, Samten Jamtsho, said the dzongkhag lost a leader and a mentor.
In Haa, residents, local government leaders and dzongkhag officials were shocked after they knew about the Royal Civil Servant Commission’s decision to ‘manage out’ the dzongdag everyone adored.
Former dzongdag Rabgye Tobden, according to the dzongkhag officials was approachable and very convenient to work with.
According to a dzongkhag official, reforms in any system are inevitable but when such reforms remove the competent leader, it leaves many questions about the effectiveness of the process.
He said the former dzongdag visited every site and verified the works rather than doing the table works.
Although there is an officiating dzongdag, the officials shared that it was difficult to cope with changes.
he dzongdag had been in Haa for 11 months, the locals felt that they did not get the time to utilise the dzongkhag’s expertise in agriculture and education.
Many describe him as a humble leader.
“We are sad that he had to leave so early,” a resident said.
Bji gup Passang said while there was no major impact on developmental works in the gewogs due to the presence of the interim dzongdag, decisions and activities planned with him were left halfway.
He said that it was a haste decision and people did not have the time to process it. “He was a competent leader.”
In Zhemgang, the dzongkhag does not have a dzongdag and a dzongrab. A senior civil servant is officiating as the dzongkhag administration head.
Civil servants said important decisions cannot be made without administration heads like dzongdag, dzongrab and also finance officer.
Residents claimed such frequent changes in the leadership of the dzongkhag administration hampered development and growth in the remote dzongkhag.
When the former dzongdag, Chimi Dorji, left the dzongkhag recently, civil servants were seen giving an emotional farewell.
In Lhuentse, dzongkhag officials, residents, local leaders and the public gathered at Autsho to bid farewell to their dzongdag, who left the dzongkhag on April 24. An emotional video was uploaded on Facebook.
“He was quick and wise in decision making,” Maedtsho gup and Lhuentse dzongkhag tshogdu thrizin, Gembo, said. “He would not interfere in local government affairs, but was very supportive and provided good guidance.”
He, however, said the government policy to manage them must be good and there is nothing they could do.
In Gasa, civil servants also gave grand farewells to the dzongdag, who they claimed was humble and understanding.
Many took to social media to thank former dzongdag Rinzin Penjor for the guidance and support.
Meanwhile, in Tsirang, former dzongdag Pema left the dzongkhag recently, but it was a quiet affair.
Except for dzongkhag officials and heads of agencies, most of the residents did not know when the dzongdag left.
In Mongar, the dzongdag has not returned from Thimphu and no one is discussing about the issue.
Tsakaling gup and the DT chairperson, Karma Sonam Wangchuk, said dzongdag’s absence has hampered decision making in the dzongkhag administration.
However, LG officials said the normal development activities in the gewogs were not affected as gewogs function in a decentralised system.