President Paul Kagame has urged Rwandans never to settle for less nor let go of their right to demand accountability from their leaders.
Addressing residents of Gasabo District during a visit to Jabana Sector yesterday, Kagame said leaders are there to serve the people and the latter should never hesitate to hold accountable leaders who have failed to deliver.
He pledged continued commitment from government to strive for greater services and access in the field of education, healthcare, energy and clean water.
Kagame, who was on a routine outreach visit to Jabana, emphasised the importance of a leadership that serves the people.
“The role of leaders is to serve all of you equally and it is your right to demand accountability. Leaders are here to work with you to solve the challenges you face not to serve their own interests. The goal is to develop–development that is based on the ability of people to access services,” he told the cheering crowd atBweramvura ground.
The Head of State urged the residents to not only enjoy the advantages of a safe and stable nation but contribute to maintaining security.
“Each one of you deserves good living conditions and you deserve the best, and to live in harmony. We had our share of insecurity and we will not allow that history to repeat itself. The foundation of our progress is security.”
Jabana, with 33,000 inhabitants, is one of the eight sectors in Gasabo District – which has a total of 15 sectors – and has been cited among the fastest developing sectors, moving from absolute energy poverty to 16 per cent connection rate in three years.
Gasabo mayor Willy Ndizeye cited the district’s potential to impact the country’s development agenda, pointing out the availability of space for much-needed manufacturing plants and real estates.
“We have opportunities in our district because there is space for investments, we need to exploit and harness this potential,” he said.
The interactive question-and-answer session was dominated by testimonies of residents who shared how they had worked their way out of poverty, thanks to prevailing peace and security, and pro-poor policies.
“I’m especially thankful for the security that we enjoy which has enabled me to grow my business,” said Samuel Murwanashyaka, co-owner of a Rwf150-million car garage in the Gatsata area.
Theophilla Mukazitoni, another resident, said women in the district continue to benefit from the country’s pro-gender policies and the President’s emphasis on women empowerment.
“Women in Gasabo are so grateful,” she told the President.
A recent survey ranked Rwanda among the best 10 countries for women and it remains the only country in the world with a female majority parliament (women hold 64 per cent seats in the Lower House), while Rwandan girls have as much right to inheritance and education as their male counterparts.
However, Jabana residents raised questions pertaining to the quarrying activities in the sector they said have damaged people’s homes and farms, as well as the marshland in the area that remains unused after authorities stopped farmers from cultivating in the protected area, saying it had been given to an investor.
Kagame instructed leaders to ensure that the quarry does not affect the people negatively and to immediately sort out the marshland issue, including considering the possibility of letting residents exploit it.
Residents of Jabana Sector are mainly engaged in maize, rice, banana and sugarcane growing.