PARLIAMENT - President Paul Kagame, yesterday, told Cabinet ministers and other leaders that their primary responsibility is to create value and wealth for the Rwandan people.
The President, who made the remarks during the swearing-in ceremony of the new Cabinet at the Parliamentary buildings in Kimihurura, pointed out that by lifting the people out of poverty, the country would become less reliant on aid, and would, therefore, be treated with the value it deserves.
President Kagame retained his entire Cabinet from the previous term. Kagame told the ministers that the oath of office they took should be accorded the respect it deserves and wished that nobody on his team would be penalized for not doing their job.
He reminded the ministers that their responsibilities go beyond running a ministry, saying that what is important is to get people out of poverty, ensure progress and development, security, while making sure that the citizens are enjoying their rights.
The President advised the Ministers to work with the people to make this happen, adding that if one does not understand this objective, they do not deserve to be leaders.
Kagame went on to say that while being a leader or leading a country is difficult, leadership in a country like Rwanda is even more complex given the context.
“If it does what other people do, and what other people think is right, Rwanda attracts more attention and it attracts even more unnecessary attention,” he said, adding that stories about Rwanda are created, just to keep the country in the news.
The President went on to dismiss the country’s detractors who not only attempt to tarnish the country’s image, but want to preach to Rwandans what they should do.
“Nobody has a right to come here and turn this country into nothing and think they have a responsibility to shape this country the way they want instead of the way Rwandans want,” he said.
Kagame went on to say that the problem is not unique to Rwanda, but to Africa in general, where poor nations have the difficult task of having to explain the choices they make.
“When I get an opportunity, I tell whoever cares, and if I don’t, I will be doing a disservice to my people, to my continent and to myself. But beyond just saying it, again, we must go back and do what is right so that we don’t play in some of these people’s hands,” he said.
The President added that once Rwanda sorts out the problem, and other African countries do the same, they can work together to deal with the challenges.
He reminded the leaders that it is their responsibility to say no to lessons from people who want to determine the destiny of Rwandans, since their intentions are to see the country lose balance and remain dependant.
The President advised the leaders that one way of dealing with such a problem, is doing what is right and get results that speak for themselves. The results, Kagame said, should interpret into wealth and wellbeing of the Rwandan people.
He went on to remind the leaders that wealth is not a crime if you have worked hard for it. The problem, he said, is if you get rich through the wrong channels. Kagame cautioned the leaders against corruption, saying that it can be used against them.
The President, spoke against double standards, questioning why, in some countries, it is acceptable to ban hate speech or form coalition governments, but in others it is not.
Our rights are not minor to other people’s rights, he concluded.