President Paul Kagame says Rwanda has achieved a lot in terms of socio-economic development, 26 years on after the Liberation struggle of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF-Inkontayi) deposed the genocidal government, put an end to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and established a unity government.
President Kagame made the remarks in a televised speech on the occasion to celebrate 26 years of the liberation struggle on July 4, a day he said was celebrated at the time the country was going through difficult times due to the New Coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
Nevertheless, President Kagame said that there was a lot to celebrate and thanked all Rwandans for their role and support in the struggle to liberate the country.
“Twenty-six years have passed since we liberated ourselves. We have achieved a lot. It required sacrifice, hard work, and the collaboration of many. The values that have characterized our Liberation are still important today,” President Kagame said.
“We should all strive for our common good, and not only individual benefit. Those in public service should understand that they serve all Rwandans, and are accountable to them. We celebrate this day in difficult times as we confront the Coronavirus pandemic,” he added.
President Kagame said that the COVID-19 pandemic is a test for the country but the way it is addressed shows the level of preparedness against anything that attempts to disrupt the lives of the citizens and the progress.
“We always stand ready to protect Rwandans and what we have achieved. This is the same way we should fight Covid-19 and defeat it,”
“The whole world is fighting this pandemic. Success will depend on the right strategies and actions, and citizens with the right mindset,” the Head of State said.
He says the fight against the virus is another struggle that must be won, so that the country can continue on the path it has chosen.
President Kagame took part in activities to inaugurate development achievements including Gishuro Model Village, Groupe Scolaire Tabagwe and Tabagwe Health Centre in Nyagatare district as part of the annual Kwibohora activities.
He said the projects are part of the government’s efforts to annually improve the socio-economic lives of Rwandans as a way of continuing to liberate them.
“Today, we have inaugurated development activities in different parts of the country. These projects enable citizens to access services in their communities. They aim to improve livelihoods and uphold the dignity of every Rwandan,”
“After many years of bad politics of greed, hate, and division, we have built a country for all, not just some. A country where everyone cares about the other,” President Kagame said.
He pointed out that today Rwandans are independent and have the capacity to work and achieve everything they want without being taken off course.
“We have a government that does everything possible to achieve this. What remains important is to abide by the rule of law. Public resources must not be mismanaged or embezzled,” President Kagame said.
Last week during an extended RPF National Executive Committee meeting, Kagame said that the government will not tolerate officials who squander public resources, which are limited compared to the ambitions and aspirations the nation has.
“Our country will continue to move forward based on our efforts, skills, and capacity, as we continue working together. The journey of Liberation continues. We share this journey with fellow Africans,”
“Everything we need to complete the journey and take Africa where we want it to be is in our hands. Rwanda will continue to contribute to the liberation of our continent,” President Kagame said.
On the occasion of the Liberation celebrations, he said Rwandans are happy that they have managed to build a new, better country, that they deserve.
“Let’s continue on that path, all of us together, men and women, of all ages, but especially the young Rwandans in whose hands lies our future,” he concluded.
Projects come as an answer to Tabagwe locals
The three development projects which were launched in Eastern Province were undertaken by the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) as part of the routine and annual Citizen Outreach Program (COP) activities that collectively contribute to national economic transformation.
Every year similar activities are launched around the country as part of the annual celebrations of Liberation Day.
Last year it was the Karama IDP model village launched in Nyarugenge district in 2019. During its commissioning, President Kagame commended the work done by the army and directed them to scale-up similar activities mainly for the communities living along borders to curb cross-border movements of people in search of basic needs, which is how this year’s projects came up.
The projects are located in Tabagwe Sector, which is close to the Rwanda-Uganda border. Citizens of the area say that previously they would seek health and education services across the border due to lack of alternatives.
“We will no longer have to cross the border to get some of these services. We thank President Kagame for continuing to care for us and remembering us. Tabagwe was one of the most isolated parts of the country,” said Dafrose Nyirabahire, a resident of Tabagwe.
The Minister of Local Government Prof. Anastase Shyaka said that the launch of the projects in the Eastern Province was a symbolic milestone because the liberation struggle was launched in the area.
“It means a lot because it all started here. The journey to liberate the country saw the sun for the first time here. It is very important that the people of this area will continue to be liberated in other ways, socially and economically,” Prof Shyaka said.
He pointed out that five years ago, President Kagame directed government institutions to ensure that every year as the country celebrates the liberation day, similar projects that bring tangible change in the lives of the people must be launched, starting with Rweru Model Village five years ago.
From 2019 to 2020, a total of 14 model villages have been constructed, to the benefit of 318 families. They include 286 housing units for Genocide survivors which have benefitted 561 families. A total of 832 families have benefited across all 5 provinces of the country.
Similarly, 400KM+ of roads across 15 districts, 20 bridges across 8 districts, 11 medical facilities (construction/renovation) as well as agriculture and livestock activities across all districts in the country have been executed.
Gishuro Model Village village is made up of 16 houses of 4 in 1 for 64 families and each unit comes equipped with gas, TV, radio and a smartphone for each family.
The model village is also equipped with an ECD center for 100 children, consisting of 3 classrooms, 1 office and 1 sleeping room as well as a kitchen with gas and cooking stoves.
It was designed to address critical border issues, including citizens having to depend on the neighboring countries for services they can obtain locally.
It comprises key services such as a Health Centre; a boarding school; Model Village for 64 families, modern farms, mini-markets and other important welfare support facilities.
Groupe Scolaire Tabagwe features 22 rehabilitated primary school classrooms for 1, 418 students and 25 rehabilitated secondary school classrooms for 903 students.
The school is equipped with 2 smart classrooms featuring 50 computers with internet access in each one.
There are 3 rehabilitated classrooms designated for Labs and a rehabilitated library with 30 computers. The school also features 2 hostels (one for girls and another for boys) that houses 150 students each. Additionally, the school grounds feature basketball, volleyball and football playing fields.
On the other hand, Tabagwe Health Center features a main reception block, a pharmacy, a laboratory, offices, Outpatient Department services and more. The health center features separate wards for men, women and children.