Home NewsNational Umushyikirano 2023: President Kagame Cautions Leaders On Negligence Of Duty

Umushyikirano 2023: President Kagame Cautions Leaders On Negligence Of Duty

by Daniel Sabiiti
3:22 pm

President Kagame cautioned leaders against laxity when it comes to delivering on the citizen’s expectations.

President Paul Kagame has sent a stern warning to leaders  against laxity and lack of commitment when it comes to delivering on their duties, something he said could derail the progress the country has registered over the past nearly 30 years.

The Head of State sent the caution to leaders in his opening speech of the 2023 National Dialogue Council, commonly known as Umushyikirano, which started this Monday at Kigali Convention Centre (KCC).

President Kagame said that what Rwanda has achieved in almost three decades is a generational change where Rwandans have come from nothing to something in terms of economic and social development and cannot afford to fall back on these gains.

Based on the implementation report of previous dialogue resolutions presented by the Prime Minister, Dr. Edouard Ngirente, President Kagame said that many Rwandans have basic infrastructure such as water and electricity, roads and healthcare and doing business which has led the country to be among the fastest developing countries.

The Head of State also reflected on the recent national census, which shows that Rwandans are now estimated to be more than 13.4 million, showing the real picture of the country and its progress and what should be done to attain set goals and ambitions.

He pointed out that the achievements registered over the years were a combined effort of Rwandans, development partners and friends of Rwanda, who have relentlessly contributed to the rebuilding of the nation. He however added that these efforts cannot stop as there is still a lot more to do for the country to be where it should be.

President Kagame observed that rebuilding Rwanda was done out of scratch, starting literally from nothing, and it took the blood and sweat of citizens who tirelessly contributed to these efforts.

He however noted that some leaders become lax and forget why they were put in certain positions and their performance or attitude shows that they do not understand their responsibility of being the driving force of the citizens.

President Kagame said that Rwanda could lose what it has gained if leaders don’t do the right thing or fail to do what they are supposed to do because they are putting their energy in a wrong place, pointing out that working all day and getting tired in the evening is meaningless if the difference is not felt by citizens.

“Reaching far is in our wider ambition, to reach where others who are better are. Most of us know this well, that we want to be somewhere, but how long shall we be pushed around to do what we are supposed to do?” President Kagame asked the leaders, reminding them that everything they do or don’t do is known.

“This calls for more effort and work with determination, without waiting to be pushed around or carrying you around and at worst, be fed by others,” he explained.

President Kagame called on leaders to put the interests of the country first.

The Head of State said that Rwanda, like any other country, has everything it takes to develop itself and be where other countries are, but these efforts are being impeded by the attitude of leaders who choose to focus on personal interests instead of those of the nation.

Referencing the earlier report by the Prime Minister, President Kagame said that what is clear now is a need for consolidated efforts,  which calls for people working together at all levels to deliver on the expectations of the citizens, instead of people focusing on their personal interests.

“The only thing that can enable us to get what we want is to work and to know who we are. Those who insult you are people like you and not different from you. God never created us and put us in categories of poverty (ubudehe) but that is not what we want. If others want to be in that category, let them be but not we Rwandans,” President Kagame said.

He noted that God didn’t curse Africa to be poor and insulted and people should not accept that, emphasizing that Rwandans particularly cannot accept that.

“Rwandans, Africans cannot be assisted forever. God did not put this great African Continent and its people – over 1.3 billion – and decide that they will go to waste just to live in poverty, fed by others, pitied, abused, assisted, and you believe it? How is that possible?”

“If others want to be so, it’s their right but it shouldn’t be us. I always say this over and over and it starts with leaders, leaders who don’t follow up on issues of the citizens and live in their own world, disconnected from the citizens,” President Kagame stated.

President Kagame addresses Day 1 of Umushyikirano 2023. Photos/Moses Niyonzima.

He particularly cautioned leaders who are not aware or are not updated on community projects, instead leaving citizens to be the one to follow up, report and hold them accountable.

“How long will we keep firing people, including ministers? How busy are you to the extent that you don’t have time for the job you have to do. Tell me where and why are you not doing your work?” President Kagame said, wondering why nothing changes, despite efforts to build capacity.

“We (Rwanda) are considered a fast developing country and yet you do have this poor attitude. Now imagine if you stop doing what you are supposed to do and act in a more responsible way?” he said, adding that Rwanda would achieve even more if leaders were doing the right thing.

President Kagame said that he will not stop pushing leaders who are not doing what they are supposed to do and if need be, the law will take its course, rather than allowing the country to bear the cost of complacency and mismanagement.

The Head of State warned leaders against engaging in gambling and get-rich quick schemes that don’t only cost them money but also set a bad example for the citizens, such as the controversial Chia seeds project, which saw people defrauded of their hard-earned money, including leaders.


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