President Paul Kagame has recognised the historic role of Nyagatare in the liberation struggle and urged Rwandans to continue working to achieve the next phase of the struggle for liberation: achieving development.
The President was yesterday speaking from Rwendenzi grounds in Gatunda Sector, Nyagatare District, a place that has a historical label in the liberation struggle.
Residents of Gatunda recalled that Kagame held a meeting at Rwendenzi grounds in 1992 as he led the liberation struggle.
“Twenty-two years ago, some of us were standing here. Today, our struggle is different than the one over 20 years ago. Our struggle is to liberate ourselves from poverty and achieve development for all,” the President said.
Kagame added that today’s politics are about building a unified nation.”Our politics are centered on giving everyone dignity, seeing value in each other and working together to achieve our common goal.”
He added that the role of government is to put in place policies to facilitate people to achieve their goals and improve on their welfare. “Receiving services is your right not a favour. You should not accept to pay for services you are owed. You each have a role to play in denouncing and fighting corruption.”
Kagame acknowledged that Gatunda had changed tremendously, transforming from a place that used to be characterised by famine.
Today, the residents in the area look healthy, are involved in farming, and have electricity and clean water.
He, however, hastened to add that a lot more still needed to be done to ensure that the resources are effectively extended to a bigger percentage of people.
President Kagame also urged citizens to join hands in fighting some of the major criminal activities in Nyagatare, among them cross-border crimes, cattle rustling and drug abuse.
The Head of State later interacted with residents of Nyagatare in his citizen outreach programme where he spent time listening to their concerns as well as those who expressed their gratitude over their achievements.
One of the residents, Grace Kampirwa, was once a cattle keeper who said she had survived on cows all her life and had never dreamed of cultivating land for survival.
“I ventured into farming because it was an initiative of the government but I didn’t believe in it.
When I went into cultivation, I made a fortune out of it and it was the first time I held a million francs in my hands,” Kampirwa said as she shared her life experience.
During the same event, the Nyagatare Mayor, Fred Sabiiti, highlighted the district’s economic and agricultural progress, citing tremendous achievements in modern farming.
“With the new milk producing factory, farmers now produce 85,000 litres of milk a day, worth about Rwf6 billion a year. A master plan of Nyagatare covering 500 hectares has also been finalised as well as 50 hectares where an industrial area will be located,” said Sabiiti.
East African University, which will admit about 1,000 students, is also due to be opened soon in Nyagatare. Nyagatare’s population has grown by 83 per cent in recent years, which, according to the mayor, called for urgent infrastructure that would facilitate the people.
Later in the day, President Kagame met with opinion leaders from the Eastern Province in Rwamagana District. He is today expected to continue his tour of the region with a visit to Kirehe District.