On the third day President Paul Kagame on Saturday continued with his four day citizen outreach where he met a crowd of cheerful citizens of Nyamasheke district, Western Province, a touristic destination on the shore of Lake Kivu.
It was a day of joy where the citizen reconnected with the President who last visited the district before the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
Kagame started the outreach on August 25, to the Southern and Western Province, where he always give time to residents to table their unsolved issues but also hear success stories.
So many success stories to share to an extent that the president had to always remind them to be brief, go straight to the point.
At the same times, the citizens tabled before the president several grievances caused by unresolved issues which however, the president said, could find solutions if all the institutions worked together.
In one of the cases in Nyamasheke, Anathole Muhizi, a demobilized soldier presented his land issue in which he bought a house in Kamonyi District, Southern Province in front of a notary.
He told the president, that the buyer (an employee of National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) had an administrative issue at his work, and the bank “connived with the land officials to block Muhizi from having the land title for his house.”
“You asked that the issue be addressed in an earlier outreach in Musanze but when I followed up, some officials told me I may not succeed unless I go and pray hard. What if I don’t pray, does it mean I don’t have rights to my properties?” Muhizi asked.
President Kagame has asked the Minister of Local Government and the National Police to resolve this issue within three days starting Monday August 29, 2022.
President Kagame also asked residents with similar issues to address them to leaders including one of a lady who has for the last twenty years not cultivated her land due to lack of a land title since returning to Rwanda in 1995.
Jeannette Mukanpfizi, a mother of three also revealed that a Chinese constructing the Huye- Rusizi highway damaged their houses with uncontrolled water flows in 2012.
“The issue was taken to all levels but not resolved. Now we are homeless in Gisakura village and the children are not at school but on the streets,” she said.
“This problem should be addressed immediately…Don’t worry, they (officials) will face me too,” Kagame said, calming down the lady in tears.
In another case, Aphrodis Misago told the Head of State that his corn farm was attacked and damaged by monkeys in Nyungwe Park but he was not compensated by officials.
Kagame said that usually people who enchroch the Park, when their crops are destroyed by animals, they are not compensated but advised to create a buffer zone as a long term solution.
Kagame said park managers should work with local officials to find a sustainable solution, to protect the animals, the park and people’s property and life.
Meanwhile, one Esperance Nyiransengimana brought to the attention of President Kagame her case in which a Director of Karengera-TTC, who punished students by beating them in the middle of the night resulting in her current physical disability.
The director beat us under unfair circumstances and to the point he stepped on my back and broke it resulting in my disability,” said Nyiransengimana who was in a wheelchair.
Kagame asked the Mayor if anything was done about the case, and the Mayor of Nyamasheke District Appolonie Mukamasabo said that the director was arrested and was also prosecuted and brought to justice but was acquitted while the victim was in hospital for a year.
In response, the victim told Kagame that she has told leaders about her case but she claimed they did not listen to her concerns.
“Now they will listen to me,” President Kagame said adding that since this matter has come before the justice system, Nyiransengimana deserves to be helped, treated well and also in real life so that she can continue to study.
Reasons to Be Thankful
Despite these challenges, some hopeful messages were shared from Eric Mugabe, a 33 year old resident of Kirimbi sector, Karengera cell.
At first a street child for nine years after the 1994 genocide against Tutsi in which he lost his family, he was picked off the streets by one of the area policemen.
“I explained to the police why I was on street and one of the policemen listened and took me home and sent me back to school. Your excellency the President, I am thankful for the Rwanda National Police” Mugabe said.
Mugabe said on 17th December 2017 he followed one of the speeches of the president asking the youth to sit on the high table.
Mugabe, who is now a university student at Kibogora Polytechnic has since managed to secure Rwf9million to open a Nursery school (Hope Academy- with 90 students and paying health insurance for 30 residents) in the Kirimbi area and plans to move to the next phase two-primary section along plans to improve the special education program for the disabled children.
He also plans to build a secondary school as he ventures in education.
President Kagame wished him good luck and tipped him to seek support from the Ministry of education and the provincial authorities.
Judith Uwankwera, a mother of 4 also shared her success story as a businesswoman in Kagano sector, who after leaving the education sector started a restaurant with barely Rwf150, 000.
The business has now grown to Ibigabiro hotel, with a branch in Rutsiro district, 25 employees getting Rwf2million in salaries per month and spending Rwf6Million in purchasing food from the community every month.
To date the business is worth Rwf500- 600million and but the proprietor says she is constructing a new facility worth Rwf 2.6 billion that will employ 70 staff.
“I have achieved this because of your advice which encouraged me to invest,” Uwankwera said, asking for support from RDB- which the president said should be done to seek better management.