President Paul Kagame has called upon local leaders to always fulfill their responsibilities, through a combined strategy, instead of having diverse plans on common targets, if they have to attain tangible results.
The Head of State delivered the message on March 28, to over 2,000 Executive Secretaries of all cells countrywide, gathered at the Intare Conference Arena, who completed the national civic education training, Itorero, at Nkumba training centre.
The training which was done in four cohorts, started February 19, 2023, aimed to making Itorero at village level operate effectively, promote Rwandan values, patriotism, help prevent house hold conflicts, among other leadership values.
Kagame said that from the training, the over 2,000 local leaders at cell level ought to have also had discussions based on joint evaluation, on results from their responsibilities, if the outcome from the work they do has to be visible.
‘We still experience cases of school dropouts at cell level, stunted growth, children wandering around on streets, is this part of your responsibility, what is the cause, what is missing, who is responsible, after training what is the way forward?’ President Kagame challenged local leaders.
Executive secretaries were also trained to promote values among citizens, using village -based Itorero platform for conflict prevention, instead of reserving them for higher authorities, among other leadership values.
They were also reminded by the President to be passionate for their work, patient, sacrificing their time, to achieve better results, with no time for desperation.
‘There cases where leaders lack collaboration and communication, even among people in the same working place or even those with similar responsibilities.’
Egide Kabagema is the Executive Secretary of Rugarama cell, located in Gahengeri sector, Rwamagana district. He affirmed that village -based Itorero program has not been effective and trusts that this training has empowered him and other local leaders to put more effort in sensitizing people through this platform.
‘As leaders, it is high time we put Rwandan values first, I am now sure that once village -based Itorero program is effective, our performance will double, based on improved service delivery.
About local leaders seeking for salary increment, President Kagame said it is a noble request, but which has to go hand in hand with tangible and valuable results.
‘What disappoints is that targets are not realised, not necessarily because leaders lack skills, or capacity, in terms of thinking or resources, but I mean, when people have capacity but don’t use it for purposeful duties, ending up wasting public resources knowingly, on personal gains.’, added president Kagame
Ruth Nyinawumuntu, Executive secretary of Rubona cell, Kiziguro sector in Gatsibo district also said the civic education training enabled her acquire more skills on service delivery to the locals at the forefront, ensuring rights for every individual are respected and reinforcing campaigns to restore full operation of Itorero at village level.
From this training, the Executive secretaries resolved to promote good service delivery, values, unity and reconciliation, fighting genocide ideology, forging more partnerships with different stakeholders, among other leadership strategies.
A similar civic education training was last conducted in 2015 and besides promoting the use of village -based Itorero, it also helps leaders to acquire knowledge on reducing the escalation of other problems such as the use of illicit drugs, unplanned pregnancies among adolescents and violence.
Local leaders were also warned by the Head of State from being accomplices to criminals, by being part of the crimes committed. They were also told to endeavour exposing any problem that is beyond their control, to high authorities, which helps in getting concerted efforts at national level.
The President further told the local leaders to get back to previous efforts in promoting personal hygiene, which have declined, whether in homes or public places., maintaining momentum in night patrols and promoting proper use of Kinyarwanda language.