Advises church leaders to declare personal wealth
NYARUGENGE - President Paul Kagame attended a special prayer breakfast event at Serena Hotel yesterday morning.
Organised by a group Top Leaders’ Prayer Breakfast, the event provides an opportunity for the country’s Christian leaders to talk about their leadership calling and pray for the Nation and its leaders.
A cross-section of other country leaders attended the occasion that was graced by stirring gospel tunes from Rehoboth Choir and Diana Kamugisha.
The President in his speech acknowledged the event’s importance, saying that thanking God for all accomplishments is good.
The special achievement this year, as most pointed out were the very successful recently concluded legislative polls in which women scooped a rare conquest by winning majority seats.
Causing laughter, Kagame pointed out that men’s role too shouldn’t be ignored.
Referring to what the master of ceremonies, Pastor Antoine Rutayisire of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC), had earlier emphasised, the President stressed that the Bible spells out what is required of leaders but that acting in accordance to the teachings was a problem.
“This then means that our biggest problem is not knowing,” he said, stressing that the lack of acting in accordance to what is known was the issue.
“Why should people always repeat and tell us what we are supposed to do?” he posed, saying it amounted to not valuing the good teachings and hence the real challenge remained.
Teaching about what God says on good governance and giving examples of good role models, Pastor Rutayisire highlighted five leader ruining traits – pride, sex, greed, complacency and bad family.
The President picked out and expounded on complacency, greed and pride. Thinking that one is the only one with truth and no other was dangerous, said Kagame, adding that the related troubles come in many ways.
He singled out the current global financial crisis, saying greed was one of its root causes.
Kagame strongly criticized church leaders who tell lies in God’s name, saying it is the worst sin. He also had some tough words for leaders who use their leadership positions to amass wealth to the disadvantage of the masses.
He revealed that he declared his personal wealth to the Ombudsman and urged others to follow suit.
“You the church leaders should do the same.”
“You cannot be taking away the little they have and using it for your own pleasure. In all levels of leadership we need to avoid being excessive,” he said.
On leadership and governance again, he underlined that leaders must endeavor to set the best example even though he acknowledged that it was always a challenge.
Humility is important, he said, adding that this didn’t mean he was perfect but was always working hard to do what was good for the nation.
Zeroing in on the Rwandan perspective, he said that there are many challenges – some faced by the country on its own and others going beyond borders. He urged leaders to seek for the liberation of all Rwandans and Africans in general, for as he believes, this is the biggest component.
While expounding on the right to a better life and explaining the real context of the matter of liberation, he expanded on what some have seen as a question of the French language being swallowed up by English.
He said that these languages are simply conveniences and that Rwandans are one in all possible ways, including their language and culture.
The central thing is believing in God, he said.
He added that in order to understand this, one must be liberated in the head and the heart.
The President also underscored the importance of doing good and not expecting to be thanked, “because it is for our own good.”