VILLAGE URUGWIRO - President Paul Kagame yesterday cautioned top army and police officers against behaving irresponsibly especially through acts of indiscipline, alcoholism and engaging in corruption, as those are the last things the country expects of them.
The President passed on the advice during the traditional annual cocktails at which the he hosts the top brass of the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF), police and other security organs at Urugwiro Village.
He urged them to focus more on what the future has to offer than always looking back to past glories, as the future has more challenges than those encountered in the past.
Kagame said that even though the event was to celebrate the successes of the two institutions in the past year, it’s more ideal to ponder the future and think of ways of not only ensuring peace and security, but how each one of them can contribute to the economic development of the nation.
“Our roles are beyond ensuring peace, law and order but, also how each one of us can positively contribute towards development and how we can improve the lives of Rwandans and your individual families,” Kagame told the officers who were accompanied to the function by their spouses.
The President said that it is also equally important to ensure continuity as years pass, by preparing a smooth transition for a younger generation to follow in their footsteps as they advance in age.
“As we grow, we leave space behind us which needs to be filled. We should be able to prepare a new generation of people to follow in our footsteps if we are to ensure continuity,” the President advised.
He urged for more discipline and quality work from the officers this year and requested them to dedicate more time to work for the well being of the country by doing the right things at the right time.
Kagame reminded the senior officers that the nation has invested its scarce resources in them so that they could receive appropriate training and education, something they should value very much and make it a debt to pay back.
Kagame also said that it was important to set goals and objectives that are within the reach of the country and refrain from nostalgic tendencies.
He said that it’s unfortunate that most of the problems the country and Africa in general are facing – such as poverty – originated from colonialism which the current generation is charged with the task of solving.
He said that there was need to revive the dignity by resisting all forms of bad behaviour such as corruption before tackling the current problems the country is facing.
The Minister of Defence, Gen Marcel Gatsinzi, pledged more commitment by the forces to protect the nation this year and thanked the government for the efforts to improve the well being of the army and police in general.
He said that last year was a successful year for the forces, especially for ensuring peace not only in the country, but also at the continental level. He cited the Rwandan forces serving on Peace Keeping Missions in Sudan and Liberia, on top of participating in East African Community activities.
The army jazz band led by Sgt. Robert Kabera entertained the guests who included the Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. James Kabarebe, Gen. Charles Kayonga and the acting Commissioner General of Police, Mary Gahonzire among others.