GASABO - President Paul Kagame has lauded the work done by Rwanda National Police but stressed that much as the force has done a commendable job, there remains room for improvement.
Addressing the National Police Council yesterday, Kagame said the force had attained professional levels which needed to be enhanced by adopting strategies that are commensurate with the changing times.
“It is evident that there is the will on the part of the police force to develop this institution and be of service to Rwandans, but in these demanding times more is required in terms of effective implementation and measurable results against set targets,” a statement from the Office of the President quoted him as saying.
Consistent with his appeal for sustained efforts towards self-sufficiency and dignified existence, President Kagame told the Police Council that the right attitude in service was one thing that cannot be budgeted for or bought, and that before seeking external support, it was upon them to instill the right values within the force.
“In my own experience of managing situations with many problems and too few resources, I have found that the best way to start is to first find out what we have already within us that can help us resolve our problems,” Kagame said.
Kagame warned those officers damaging the good image built by the force over the years, calling for a need by the police leadership to promptly and seriously deal with cases of indiscipline and misconduct by individual officers before they reflected poorly on the institution.
He called on the police leadership to develop clear strategies on how to continue to build a modern, responsive force capable of efficiently serving Rwanda’s current population and prepared to deal with increasingly complex and sophisticated crime.
“We may never have all we need but there should never be a moment where we lack the will to serve Rwandans in the best way we can,” Kagame is quoted saying.
Currently, the ratio of a police officer to citizens stands at one for every 1600 citizens but according to Acting Commissioner General of Police, Mary Gahonzire, plans are underway to reduce the ratio to one police officer for every 1000 citizens by 2015.
Gahonzire said that during the visit, the police presented its achievements through the five years strategic plan.
“In our action plan, we particularly highlighted the 2009 activities, plan of action and our future plans,” Gahonzire said.
She added that Kagame advised the police on several cross-cutting issues ranging from operations, service delivery and the overall role of the force in nation building.
The President expressed disappointment over the delayed finish of the new police headquarters and called for expediting the process.
The President’s police visit is part of an on-going tour of national institutions. He kicked off this tour with an impromptu visit to the National Bank of Rwanda.
Addressing the 60-member council after a presentation on the achievements and current state of the institution by the acting Commissioner General Mary Gahonzire, President Kagame expressed his overall appreciation of the good work being done by the police force.