KIGALI - President Paul Kagame, yesterday, said that Rwanda has continued to grow stronger and the Rwandan people are determined to be who they want to be, defying detractors who would want to see the country descend into conflict.
Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast at the Kigali Serena Hotel, attended by various government officials and religious leaders, the President said that some sections of the media and human rights groups have put themselves in the place of God, and they want to determine what Rwanda and her people should be.
Kagame said that during the just concluded presidential elections, Rwandans manifested a lot of enthusiasm and strong determination to work for their country’s development, adding that by turning out in big numbers, they made a statement about who Rwandans are and what they stand for.
“These people you saw in big numbers, they were not just after elections, they also wanted to make a strong statement to some people out there who don’t understand who we are,” Kagame said.
The President pointed out that the smear campaign will not divert Rwandans from the path they have decided to take. He pointed out that no individual or country has the right to define what another person or country should be, except God.
He compared the falsehoods being peddled against Rwanda to a spot of mud which can be washed and done away with time.
The President pointed out that Rwanda had to learn the hard way, as a result of her troubled past and Rwandans today will not allow anyone to divide them.
Kagame recounted how his passion to speak the truth for the country and for the Rwandan people, motivated his decision to become President, not the desire for wealth or glory.
The President reminded the audience that a good leader is one who has dignity and attaches value to the people he leads.
Kagame reminded the leaders that the massive turn out during the election rallies, reflects the expectations of the masses which they (leaders) must meet.
“We must meet the expectations of our people. We can only do more, we can only do better, but we can’t do less,” he said.
The President noted that a lot has been achieved over the last seven years and people have testimonies of how their lives have changed, but challenges still exist and there is a urgent need to multiply what is already in place.
Kagame commended the religious leaders for being part of the transformation the country has undergone, noting that religious groups have played a positive role in the development of the country, unlike in the past when religion was used as an instrument of destruction.
In his sermon, Rev. Antoine Rutayisire, called upon the leaders to shun bad practices such as pride, selfishness and moral decadence, adding that good leaders are God fearing, not exploitative and do not forget their electorate.
“A good leader is chosen by God and a good leader puts God ahead, because God does and sees things we can’t do or see as humans,” Rutayisire said.
“The main pitfalls leaders face include, self aggrandizement, wealth accumulation and moral decadence, this has led to the downfall of empires. We should not be complacent as leaders. We should always strive for the best.”
The national prayer breakfast is organised by Rwanda Leaders Fellowship.