President Paul Kagame has called upon leaders not to be held hostage by the political thinking of the past if national unity and sustainable development is to be achieved.
He said this Sunday evening while addressing members of Unity Club, a forum that brings together former and incumbent senior government leaders and their spouses, with an aim of promoting national unity for sustainable development.
“Some of you have been held hostage by the ideological thinking of your forefathers, a fact that has led you to lag behind…you have to make a choice on which direction this country should take,” the President told leaders who had gathered at Prime Holdings, Kimihurura.
The meeting, which brought together cabinet ministers and their spouses, and past members of the cabinet, was held under the theme: ‘The Role of Leaders in the Promotion of Nationalism.’
“I would say someone would be ideologically bankrupt to have that kind of thinking …I don’t mean that we should forget the history, but we should only draw lessons from it to chart the way forward for this country,” he said.
He said that this kind of thinking is planted in some senior government officials who place interest in what characterised their ancestors at the expense of the future.
“That is why some reshuffles have been taking place; some of you here have been given numerous chances to make a choice, but you have been adamant and as a result people have been dropped from the cabinet,” the President said.
He called upon the leaders not to cling to trivial issues instead of pondering and developing ideas that could rid the country of the ethnic division that has been instrumental in hampering development.
“The problem with some of us is trying to make national unity an intellectual issue where we talk about it and leave it like that…it is like we don’t want it solved so that we run out of jobs that feed our families,” Kagame added.
He said that this is common in non-governmental organisations which always try to ensure that the problems for which they were put up are not solved, otherwise they would run out of employment.
“However intelligent one can be, you cannot unleash your full strength if you have such ideologies,” said Kagame, who is also the patron of the club.
The meeting, which ended late in the night, resolved that leaders should avoid sensationalism while executing their duties by fronting the interests of all Rwandans.
“We have resolved, amongst ourselves to find the solutions to the problems faced by our nation, drawing lessons from the bad history to which our country succumbed and making the right choice,” read the recommendations from the meeting.