KIGALI - President Paul Kagame yesterday urged Rwandan Patriotic Front cadres (RPF-Inkotanyi) to be at the forefront of the country’s development efforts.
Speaking in Kigali to hundreds of delegates from all over the country, who make up the RPF Political Bureau, Kagame, who is also the chairman of the party, welcomed the commendable ranking in the World Bank’s “2010 Doing Business Report” in which Rwanda emerged the top reformer in the world.
The country jumped from the 143rd position in the previous survey to 67th worldwide.
The President pointed out that despite the commendable achievements, more still needed to be done, and called for the implementation of further reforms to improve on the current.
He thanked both chambers of parliament for speedily enacting legislation, as well as other government institutions for expediting the process, all in line with the RPF creed of efficiency.
“Good laws are those that are applied. If they are not result-oriented, they become useless,” Kagame said.
He added that the government had an urgent agenda to develop the country and stressed that every member of the RPF had a role to play in achieving the goal.
The President stressed that what the country needed were institutions that implemented policies, and not the latter becoming dead letters, saying it was like “placing flowers on a huge table to be admired”.
Referring to the World Bank report, the RPF Chairman said it was an indication that hard work pays, if sound policies are anchored on a focused mindset. He called upon party members to stay the course and not sit on their laurels.
The President used the occasion to remind the cadres present that there must be no room for corruption and bad governance.
He admonished some RPF members, who, instead of leading the fight against graft in government and help solve existing problems, had instead chosen to be either indifferent or cover-up for the culprits.
The President took issue with members of the party who shield wrongdoers or fear to expose corrupt and incompetent senior cadres in leadership positions.
“Not coming down hard on offenders, simply because they hold high positions, encourages other people to follow the same path,” Kagame said.
“If a leader does contrary to what we believe in, and you keep quiet, then the rest feel it’s ok.”
President Kagame added that it is the RPF’s responsibility to help put in place institutions that will deal fairly with suspects accused of wrong doing instead of sitting back and doing nothing.
“There is no need of having a Disciplinary Committee when they do not discipline anyone. Positions should not exist merely for purposes of protocol, we need positions that function.”
The President also called for the review of the land issue in a bid to address the problem of rising land prices. He added that exorbitant prices had scared potential investors away and called for stiff measures to curb it.
Kagame revealed to the RPF Political Bureau that he had instructed the Prime Minister to follow up the matter and come up with recommendations.
Another contentious issue was the recent draft law governing mortgage which the President said was unrealistic. The law seeks to compel borrowers to first raise 70 percent of the capital before accessing a loan.
“It should have been the other way round. Someone with 70 percent does not need a loan,” he pointed out.