KIGALI - President Paul Kagame has called on leaders to work closely with the people, avoid corruption and desist from using national resources for their own benefit.
The Head of State made the remarks at the closing ceremony of the two-week Itorero Isonga camp for Sector Executive Secretaries and good governance officers from all districts, yesterday, at Petit Stade in Remera.
Addressing the over 400 local leaders, President Kagame told them to apply what they have learned at the camp and focus their energies on serving the interests of the citizens.
The President noted that good leadership is people-based and involves the citizens criticizing their leaders where things don’t go right, and the leaders in turn take the criticism positively and use it as an opportunity to make things better.
He warned the leaders against making selfish decisions, saying that what the country needs are leaders who work in the interest of the citizens.
The President emphasised that a government that serves the interests of the people is anchored on an unshakeable foundation, adding that this is the culture that ensures dignity and sustainability.
Kagame pointed out that good deeds may start with an individual but should always be embraced by multitudes, since the purpose is to serve the people.
The Head of State urged the leaders to serve the people until they show appreciation, or indeed until they question whether what is being done for them is relevant, adding that this too is their right.
The President warned against greed, reminding the leaders that there is no value in greed. He said that greed may benefit an individual in the short term, but there will never have a piece of mind.
Kagame noted that Itorero is the best school for values, reminding the leaders that what it teaches cannot be learned from any school anywhere.
He told the sector leaders that they are on the right track and that whatever they do, be it in agriculture, education or any other sector, should be results-oriented and must benefit the people.
The President further told them that they have the responsibility to expedite the development programmes.
“It is you to make it happen,” Kagame said.
President Kagame cautioned the leaders against complacency, urging that while good results speak for themselves, any slight backsliding would avail opportunity for those bent on destroying what has been achieved.
He noted that it is possible to transform Rwanda and what the country has achieved, in the last 17 years, is a demonstration of that possibility.
The President went on to say that this has happened even after the country had been written off and today Rwanda is viewed from a totally different prism.
The Head of State advised the leaders to think long term and to focus on the transformation of the country, adding that that’s where they need to expend all their energies.
President Kagame reminded the leaders that their job is to protect the resources of the citizens and ensure value for their money, observing that the people expect services equivalent to their resources and that there is no excuse for failure to deliver.
He added that what is needed is change of mindset, adding that it is about the value they attach to their country and themselves and that there is nothing technical about it.
At the end of the course, the local leaders led by the Itorero Taskforce Chairman, Boniface Rucagu, gave their commitment to; promoting good governance, ensuring justice for all, improving the social economic welfare of all Rwandans, offering good service delivery and working closely with the people, among other things.