WHEN THE First National Leadership Retreat (Umwiherero) was held in the Akagera Game Lodge 10 years ago, it brought together senior government officials only in charting the country’s course.
Ever since then, Umwiherero has moved on. It’s now a composition that reflects the country’s broader thinking, where other key sections of society, such as the private sector as well as civil society, are favoured partners in development.
Today, the 11th episode kicks off at the RDF Combat Training Centre (CTC), Gabiro in the Eastern Province. Umwiherero is yet another homegrown solution that hinges on ancient practices, where elders would retreat to secluded area to tackle important matters in their society.
This year’s theme: “Accountable Governance” is paramount since accountability is the linchpin of any successful enterprise, none more important than the government.
While it might be argued that lack of accountability is not a widespread issue in our country, it is equally important to set up deterrence mechanisms, and where it arises, nip it in the bud.
For an important gathering as that, to bring up the issue of accountability in governance must have been caused by a red flag somewhere. The most likely suspect could be public workers who tend to get stuck in the logic of only being accountable to the appointing authority and ignore the people they serve.
Past leadership retreats have been the engine that drives the country. Important policies have their origins in the retreats, be they political, economic or social.
Therefore, promoting accountability in governance should be a stroll in the park.