MUSANZE - President Paul Kagame has challenged religious leaders to put the interests of their flock before their own, if they are to live up to the biblical character of the ‘good shepherd’.
President Kagame gave the advice yesterday while officiating at the consecration ceremony of Rev. Dr Laurent Mbanda, as a Coadjutor Bishop of Shyira Diocese replacing the retiring Bishop John Rucyahana, who has been at the helm of the Diocese since 1997.
Addressing thousands of the faithful, who braved the rain at St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Musanze Town, President Kagame said that all leaders, be it in government or church, should have a sense of responsibility and accountability to those they are responsible for. The president emphasised the need to be result oriented.
Kagame urged the church leaders not to be like a shepherd who abandons his flock and instead seeks self satisfaction. At the end of the day, he said, the shepherd will reap the benefits at the expense of the flock.
He referred to the outgoing Bishop Ruchyahana as a leader, who during his reign, did not only fulfil his duties at the diocese but also served the whole country.
He said that the country will continue seeking his services, adding that he personally has been seeking his advice from time to time and will continue to do so.
On the other hand, Kagame advised the incoming Bishop to consolidate what his predecessor has put in place and to come up with more initiatives to improve the lives of his followers, while contributing to the economy.
The Governor of the Northern Province, Aimé Bosenibamwe, hailed Bishop Ruchyahana for having greatly contributed to the development and well being of the people of the Northern Province.
He highlighted some of Ruchyahana’s development initiatives in the education sector, construction and hotel industry, social welfare as well as unity and reconciliation.
In his remarks, Bishop Rucyahana said that the prevailing peace in the country, support and cooperation he received from the Government enabled him accomplish the tasks bestowed on him during his service in the ministry.
Rt. Rev. Laurent Mbanda who was awarded a Certificate of Episcopal Consecration rallied the Christians to support him in accomplishing and fostering the established developments, and the outreach missions which have been started
“It is a big honour to serve God, I am going to fill big shoes but by God’s grace we will get there,” Bishop Laurent Mbanda said after taking oath.
The Episcopal Consecration of Rev. Dr Mbanda, as the Bishop-elect, of Shyira Diocese was conducted by the Archbishop of the Province of Anglican Church of Rwanda, Rt. Rev Emmanuel Kolini, assisted by other provincial bishops.
Anglican Bishops from the neighbouring countries; Burundi, D R Congo, and Uganda also attended the ceremony.