President Paul Kagame has said his government is confronted with a puzzle of senior officials who fail to work together, which makes it impossible for them to deliver according to the set goals.
It is a problem the president said he has repeated for the last 15 years during the National leadership retreat and other meetings.
On Monday, the president launched the 4 day National Leadership Retreat at Gabiro
He said he has failed to understand why leaders, including Ministers fail to work together while it is the key word to achieve the set agenda.
“A minister and a state minister who do not discuss, talk to each other to come up with a plan, how does that work, how do they deliver? This is a basic question,” said Kagame.
“Do you want us to start a system whereby someone chooses the person to work with because they are friends? Will that solve the problem?”
The president said the leaders understand the vision, and management concepts, but when it comes to execution and commitment, they lose it all.
It became very tough when the president started talking about issues affecting families; especially malnutrition among children and poor hygiene.
The president left the podium, and he was visibly irritated.
He shifted from delivering a speech to an open and answer session, whilegiving what was supposed to be opening remarks.
He asked the mayors what they are really doing to stop malnutrition and poor hygiene.
“It is a problem of mindset,” responded Minister Francis Kaboneka after some mayors hesitated to answer and then speculated saying they will end malnutrition in the next three months.
The President turned to the Minister of Agriculture who said that ownership is the issue, but this was still not convincing and he wondered how much it would take to graduate from rhetoric.
The Head of State went further and confronted senior leaders where President of Senate Bernard Makuza openly said that, “local leaders lie to parliament when summoned. For example, they cheated in performance of nyakatsi eradication”
He said, “There is a problem of sustainability. When there is a campaign, leaders wake up, work hard, but at the end of the campaign, they relax.”
“I think we should relocate our offices among the citizens.”
The president however pointed out that the parliament is failing to hold leaders accountable.
“We fear people, we don’t want to hold people accountable. We don’t ask them, they do not answer. There should be that improvement of accountability,” he said challenging members of parlaiment to hold everyone accountable, especially when it comes to senior leaders.
Efforts were put in place, according to Makuza, but the president is yet to see those people who are paying the price.
The president pushed for the answer to the problems until he even asked minister of foreign affairs to help from the experience she gets from foreign countries.
“In other countries, failure to deliver is followed by serious repercussions,” Louise Mushikiwabo said.
Meanwhile, the president said, a number of things are working well according to world reports.
The World Economic Forum ranked Rwanda number 9 on the list of safest countries.
The president said, if the leaders would eliminate some shortfalls, Rwanda would even strike the first position.
His take is that Rwanda should safeguard what has been achieved, but improve what’s not working.
The 15th National Leadership retreat is going to proceed with Prime Minister giving a presentation on country’s progress.
Thereafter, participants who are estimated to be 300 leaders and private sector representatives will go into details where presentations will alternate with discussion groups.