President Paul Kagame is frustrated by the level of mediocrity, corruption and self importance by some members in his government saying this is the major cause of poor service delivery to citizens.
The head of state is currently presiding over the 12th National Leadership Retreat taking place at Gabiro RDF Combat Training Center where he said in opening remarks, “This time around, we have to be here for serious business, for change that must take place.”
Kagame quizzed participants on what it means to be Mayor or Governor. “No one is spending nights thinking about Rwanda. Who do you think has interest in you to come and do it for you?And why?”
“Mayor is one that works for the benefit of the people. You are no longer Mayor if you are hurting people you are leading,” he said.
Mayors of districts of; Nyamasheke, Gatsibo, karongi, Rwamagana,Kirehe, Rusizi and Gasabo resigned from duty in 2014 and early 2015 due to poor service delivery and were replaced days before the National Leadership Retreat.
The president also cited the recurrent failures under the national health care system accusing the Minister and Mayors across the country of failing to fix problems of mutuelle de Santé health insurance scheme.
Rwanda is frequently cited as an exception in provision of good health care to its citizens. Health insurance coverage exceeds 91% since 2010.
The health insurance scheme is faced with dwindling subscriber numbers, errors and uncoordinated management over the past few years.
Kagame said the ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front Party to which he is chairman should not tolerate such poor performance.
He questioned the party secretary general, “is this what RPF stands for? Where did the liberation spirit among the members go. You used to be the kind of people that make things work. What happened”?
“I wish I could fight such; however, the situation doesn’t allow,” Kagame said.
President Kagame is revered for his tactical military prowess in the guerilla war that ousted former president Habyarimana government aided by France between 1990 and 1994.
He said he was not at the retreat to praise all the achievements by his government, “we shouldn’t compare ourselves to anyone but work harder to achieve our best. If you want to compare, compare with those who have achieved what we are struggling to achieve”.
“Comparing to the worst just to feel good about ourselves does not make sense. The question is how are we transforming lives?” Kagame inquired.
The president said that Rwanda should not be comparing itself with the worst. We should be comparing ourselves with the best.
According to the African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET), Rwanda has over the last two decades made impressive progress in rehabilitating and stabilising its economy exceeding pre‐1994 levels.
Statistics from the IMF economic outlook by October 2014, indicate that Rwanda’s overall economy is growing at a significant rate.
The country’s average annual growth rated in GDP was 8.8% between 2005 and 2009 and the GDP per capita has increased from less than 200US$ in 1994 to 1,686US$ in 2014.
Despite all these achievements, President Kagame said he wasn’t at the retreat to heap praise but, “We have to struggle every single day to get what we want because Challenges of Rwanda are different than what you see elsewhere.”