President Paul Kagame, who is also the Chairman of the ruling party RPF-Inkotanyi has said that the party’s 35-year journey has been more successful than not, and that the course must be stayed. Kagame stated: “We have accomplished more than we have failed. Therefore, we must remain steadfast in our approach. We must continue to strive, to make mistakes in our pursuit of solutions to the challenges that we face, rather than simply attempting to solve problems for the sake of doing so.” ALSO READ: RPF Congress to elect new committee, marks 35th anniversary He made the remarks at the RPF’s 16th national congress as the party also celebrated its 35th anniversary in an event held at the part headquarters Intare Conference Arena in Rusororo on Sunday, April 2. “When we got here, there was nothing. Not a single penny in the treasury. They wiped everything, the central bank was left empty and everything of value. But this was not surprising because the most valuable thing, which is human life, was already taken. So we had to build from nothing. We actually had to mobilise funds for even the basic things like clothing. It was probably the first time for some of us to wear suits, Kagame said. ALSO READ: Enough talk on African transformation, time to act - Kagame tells delegates at RPF meet He added that to run the country, the party had to use the little resources that they had left from the contributions Rwandans had given out to run the liberation struggle. “Many Rwandans from all over the country contributed towards this fund. We used the same money to get groceries from neighbouring countries to put in shops so that people can get basic needs.” The man who stole party’s money Kagame further talked about the challenges RPF faced when they had just gotten in power. He told a story of a minister who was sent on an official trip to establish diplomatic missions but instead ran off with party funds amounting to $200,000. ALSO READ: Seven reasons why RPF-Inkotanyi remains on the right path “He now lives in France,” Kagame said. The party chairman was referring to Jean Marie Vianney Ndagijimana who was Rwanda’s first Minister of Foreign Affairs after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Ndagijimana was given US$200,000 on October 19, 1994 to open up Rwanda’s embassies abroad and he disappeared with the money while in New York. “Then we have people, our colleagues we fought with, who took off and left, I believe because they probably had a different understanding of the meaning of our struggle. In one case, there was one who had become the Secretary General of RPF. We had a discussion: ‘what do we do with the money that was left from the liberation struggle’. I think some people wanted to consume and finish it including the SG. “But some of us pushed back and refused, and said; no; we can’t just finish this money and get it done and start afresh. We have to use it to help our party maintain this level of autonomy. Those who didn't want to take that direction said that if we invest it, it will be stolen and finished. But I told them that we are now in government. If you think this money will be stolen, it means you will also steal public funds,” Kagame shared. ALSO READ: Photos: RPF international conference discusses Africa's liberation journey He added that in the 35-year journey, he cannot fail to highlight the contribution of young and old, men and women, who sacrificed, and that many of them are no more, while others are still living but with wounds of all kinds. “As we move forward, we have to remember where we have come from and those that are no longer with us but who have enabled us to keep moving on. Now that all that is taken into account and understood we have to move on with our task of continuing to achieve and continuing to be accountable as we thrive,” Kagame noted. The RPF national congress attracted more than 2,000 party members and allies, and will see the former elect a new committee.