PARLIAMENT - President-elect, Paul Kagame, yesterday, called on local government leaders to join him and embark on another seven years of hard work, so as to achieve the country’s development ambitions.
Addressing local government leaders from the provincial, district and sector levels across the country at the Parliamentary buildings, President Kagame said that the foundation is already laid and the Rwandan people are as determined as ever, adding that the country has what it takes to accelerate development.
Kagame said that Rwandans successfully stood their ground and proved the country’s critics wrong in the just concluded Presidential elections, by making a choice they knew was right.
The President noted that the just concluded polls reflected high levels of political maturity among Rwandans and left critics and foreigners who wanted to see Rwanda descend into chaos, frustrated.
He said that Rwandans proved that they have outgrown the old politics of ethnicity, something which the country’s critics have failed to come to terms with.
Kagame pointed out that in the run-up to the August 9 polls, critics and some sections of the international media, deliberately left out critical signs of the new Rwanda, such as the massive turnouts and excitement that characterised the rallies.
And, instead wanted to shift the debate to the ethnicity of candidates, but Rwandans were not buying into their machinations since they have done away with the politics of ethnicity.
The President again hit out at allegations that people were forced to attend the campaign rallies, saying that such claims are ridiculous. He added that the passion and determination shown by the people during campaigns and elections should be given due recognition.
Kagame called on the local leaders to reflect on the courage, determination and passion exhibited by the Rwandan people during the election period and use it to work for the country.
He challenged the local leaders not to disappoint the people they lead, by failing to guide them on that path they are determined to take.
The President went on to assure the excited local leaders that it is possible to multiply what the country has achieved, seven times, because what is needed is not financial resources but the will of the people and capable leaders.
He reminded the local leaders, that leadership entails transforming the efforts of the people into real actions that improve everyone’s well being, and that a good leader is one who directs the folks on the right path.
Kagame thanked the political parties and the candidates, who participated in the presidential elections, saying that they demonstrated the highest levels of political maturity,
The President, once again, urged the local leaders to concentrate on issues that are important for the development of the country, and do not necessarily require major resources, but the efforts of people.
He singled out hygiene and sanitation, adding that these cannot be donated in form of aid. Kagame noted that hygiene in homes, schools, offices, restaurants and many other places form an important foundation for development because a healthy body in a healthy environment is a prerequisite for development.
The Local leaders also gave their views on what should be done and where attention should be focussed. The event was crowned by dancing and celebrating President Kagame’s victory.