Kagame: RPF needs leaders who put people first, not self

President Paul Kagame has called upon cadres of the RPF Inkotanyi to look beyond what has been achieved in the past thirty years of the party’s existence and focus on the legacy for the next generation.

President Paul Kagame has called upon cadres of the RPF Inkotanyi to look beyond what has been achieved in the past thirty years of the party’s existence and focus on the legacy for the next generation.

The achievements, he said, should only serve as a foundation to deliver even more for citizens.

The Chairman of the RPF was speaking at the opening of the National Congress of the RPF-Inkotanyi which brought together over 2000 party delegates from across the country and beyond.

The three-day congress was organized as part of the activities to celebrate 30 years since the creation of the party.

“What we are celebrating today are the achievements of a generation. But we cannot be short sighted. We must think of what we can do today to benefit the generations to come,” said Kagame, who addressed the meeting in his capacity as the Chairman of RPF-Inkotanyi.

The congress is being held at the RPF headquarters in Rusororo, Gasabo District.

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Speaking about the 30 year-anniversary, Kagame said; “This is a milestone not only of years, but of efforts that changed the course of history of Rwanda as well as our character.”

He said that the RPF emerged as a response to serious problems in Rwanda which were brought about by bad politics, problems that included a divided country with no direction, where citizens had no rights, dignity or even a sense of security.

Following the launch of the political movement, a liberation struggle was embarked on and the armed wing of the movement not only liberated the country, but also stopped the Genocide that was perpetrated against the Tutsi by the government of the day.

“Liberation meant facing new challenges afterwards. These included resistance to change and to learning and a sense of entitlement from those who thought the country owed them.”

He said that to liberate the country required commitment and great sacrifice.

“It also took ideological clarity, with corresponding actions and behaviour,” he added.

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RPF Vice Chairman Christophe Bazivamo (L) together with RPF Secretary General – Francois Ngarambe, follow proceedings at the congress. / Timothy Kisambira

Meanwhile, the RPF-Inkotanyi spoke out on some cadres of the RPF who have veered off the very objective that the party was created for and instead focused on self-interest rather than looking at what is of interest to the nation.

These individuals, he said, have ended up playing in the hands of external forces that do not wish well for the country.

“Knowing their weaknesses, external forces lured them in using praises. They told them they were better than the ones they fought with, better than their fellow Rwandans and they went from being leaders to being tools of external forces,” he said.

“For Africans with no pride and no dignity, the mere promise of citizenship in a foreign country is enough. When their plans failed, they were satisfied with being taken to a foreign country to become security guards at a bank or at a store.”

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RPF members listen to the President's speech. / Timothy Kisambira

The RPF Chairman urged leaders within the party and the country,m to focus on what citizens expect from them and deliver the development the citizens of Rwanda deserve.

“You have to think of yourself as a leader who puts those you serve first, a leader who thinks about how to work with their peers. Not a leader who put themselves first. Those are not our values.”

The congress will be concluded on Saturday with the election of the party’s national executive committee, that consists of the Chairman, the Vice Chairman, the Secretary General and Commissioners.

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