Our policy choices are paying off, says Kagame

President Paul Kagame delivers his remarks during the Rwanda Patriotic Front’s Bureau Politique meeting at the party headquarters in Rusororo, Gasabo District on Saturday. On the extreme right is the party Secretary-General François Ngarambe alongside the RPF Vice-Chairperson Christophe Bazivamo. / Village Urugwiro

President Paul Kagame on Saturday told senior cadres of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) that the many achievements Rwanda has made in different areas are based on the policies and the right decisions the country took.

The Head of State, who is also the Chairman of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), was speaking at the party’s Bureau Politique meeting held at RPF headquarters in Rusororo, on the outskirts of Kigali City.

The meeting, which discussed a number of issues, brought together party commissioners, leaders from decentralized entities, youth and women leagues, representatives from the private sector, young professionals, Diaspora, and other specialized cells.

Kagame told the RPF members that Rwanda’s economy has been growing progressively, highlighting that in the last year, an 8.5 percent economic growth was registered driven by agriculture and industry, among others.

“In some cases, this means that the growth only benefited a few people, but in our case, this resulted from the contribution of the majority and it benefited the majority,” he said.

In the first quarter of 2019, there was a growth of 8.4 percent and 12.2 percent in the second quarter.

“This shows us what is possible. It also shows us that sometimes we stand in our own way and do not achieve what we are capable of. We are not only capable of achieving more but we need to reach these goals,” he noted.

The RPF Chairman indicated that the country needs to develop, create jobs for youth and others, invest in infrastructure, agriculture and food security, and sell to the domestic market and beyond.

Similarly, the Head of State noted that Rwanda needs schools, hospitals, Information and Communication Technologies, and everything that moves a people forward, all of which he said was not free and must be paid for.

Based on what has been achieved, the President said it was all thanks to the policies and good choices made by the country.

“When you look at all we were able to achieve, it is partly because of policies and the choices we have made. Made in Rwanda was a choice we made, we chose to manufacture what we need and what we can sell and export,” he noted.

Upholding values

For the economy to continue to grow, Kagame said it cannot only be a result of work rather it should be about upholding the right values, which he argued will move the country in the right direction.

“It is also about the way you work and your values. The way people work together, live together and uphold the right values, all of this has a role in improving our economy,” he said.

The President weighed in on the recent resignations of District mayors, saying that leaders who don’t deliver ought to give way to others with the ability and values to serve the country.

“People tried to imply that they (mayors) were resigning as a sign of rebellion. The way I see it and understand it, what went wrong is not that they were fired, it is that they did not deliver on what they should have. Being fired is the logical conclusion,” he noted.

He added: “Leaders who are not delivering should get out of the way of Rwandans achieving their goals.”

On the culture of harassment and injustice, Kagame highlighted that leaders ought to go back and reflect on the role they are supposed to play to solve the unjust treatment of people.

“By not solving the unjust treatment of people, you are robbing us of the progress we should be making. There are people who have been treated unfairly and have nowhere to complain because leaders are part of the problem,” he said.

According to the President, there were leaders who do not follow up, coordinate or speak to who they were supposed to speak with – the citizens.

This, he added, prevents the country from achieving its goals.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com