Yesterday at Petit Stade in Remera, Kigali, President Kagame chaired the Rwanda Patriotic Front congress.
President Kagame asked members to refocus on the RPF values of respect and service to Rwandans before individual interests.
President Kagame warned RPF leadership against a sense of entitlement:
“No one owes you anything. You cannot go around asking to be paid for the sacrifices of your past. We cannot live in the past. Do not expect to sit back and benefit from the hard work of others. Don’t tell me about your excellent past when you are not telling me about your excellent present or future,” said Kagame.
“We should never think that we deserve the best and Rwandans should receive the rest. It does not work like that. The people of Rwanda deserve the best.”
Role of the people
President Kagame added that Rwanda owes its progress to the people:
“We have made progress because Rwandans have placed their trust in us and because today people know that a brighter future is possible.
“The most important right is the right to live. RPF has given Rwandans back their right to live, the right to be. This right cannot stop at the past, we must uphold this right in the present and the future.”
The President reminded party members that no one was bigger than an institution and that those who may think so, should remember what they owe to the collective effort of the RPF.
“There are those who do not wish to see a Rwanda that defies the stereotypes they have decided should define us. They will be the first to feed the ego of those who are ready to harm others to reach their individual interests,” President Kagame said.
Oda Gasizingwa, a commissioner within the RPF charged with civil society, pointed to indiscipline that has led RPF members to undermine Rwanda’s progress.
“There are members who got themselves involved in serious crimes against the state, blackmailing the party, spreading rumours and forming groups with negative solidarity,” she accused.
Saying no to saboteurs
Her remarks were followed by those of MP Edda Mukabagwiza, who publicly disowned her young sister, Odette Mukabakomeza, who joined a group aimed at compromising Rwanda’s security.
She added that her sister’s collaboration with Rwanda National Congress (RNC) was a disappointment to her and the family.
President Kagame welcomed Mukabagwiza’s honesty, adding that it had helped the party by putting things in context.
He said mistrust does not benefit anyone but instead divides efforts that would otherwise be used in building something firm, warning that keeping silent to evil was endorsing it.
President Kagame pointed to resilience as central to RPF and called on leadership to continue surmounting present and future challenges:
“Those who think the struggle is over are wrong. The struggle continues every day. But if the RPF did not perish in 1990, in 1994 or after, it will not perish now. RPF may have been beaten but our wounds always heal and we will remain standing.”
During the meeting, Senator Tito Rutaremara also gave a detailed lecture on party values and fighting against negative tendencies.
Rutaremara detailed ways in which someone’s behavior can be termed as negative tendency, among them include corruption, formation of cliques, and opportunism among others.
At the end of the meeting, members pledged to commit themselves to self evaluation, accountability and placing the interests of Rwandans above their own.