Editorial: The spirit of the retreat has taken over

It seems like whenever senior government officials come from the National Leadership Retreat, it is as if they have been put on steroids. They come out with a lot renewed energy and this time they did not disappoint.

No sooner had they left Gabiro, ministers hit the ground running, implementing the resolutions of the retreat.

The Minister of Trade and Industry did not hesitate to deal with two issues that had preoccupied the retreat; loss making companies in which the government had shares. It was pointed out that in most cases, the other shareholders passed the losses over to the government.

The companies mentioned, though not limited to, were Kinazi Cassava Factory as well as the cement maker, CIMERWA. The government decided to bail out the former as it still has a fighting chance, but for the latter, it will be parting of ways.

Not to be outdone, the Ministry of Education said it would name and shame school officials “involved in mismanagement and embezzlement of school resources.”

Carelessness and connivance were behind the loss of school resources, especially computers, of which close to 1,000 have been stolen. Even though they were branded, some are being sold in the open in neighbouring countries.

But the icing on the cake was that the poor got a lifeline. Under the Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme (VUP), the vulnerable will be able to access soft loans at very low rates; down from 11 per cent to a mere two percent.

That is a revolutionary decision that should give some ideas to commercial banks that are accused of milking borrowers dry. May be the retreat should take place much more often as many things tend to be accomplished when the adrenaline is still flowing.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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