URUGWIRO VILLAGE - President Paul Kagame has appealed to Rwandans to have a sense of accountability, regardless of whether they are in the private or public sector, or else they will be held accountable for whatever might go wrong at the end of the day.
The Head of State said this yesterday during his monthly press conference at Urugwiro Village. He was reacting to recent developments where several government institutions and officials have been in the spotlight over mismanagement of public funds.
He particularly singled out the case involving the Senate, where the lawmakers in the House were bought expensive bags for their laptops that cost the taxpayer US$ 800 each.
The President noted that all institutions and individuals will be held accountable for their actions and those implicated will be held responsible and dealt with accordingly, regardless of the position they hold, citing the Senate case where the Permanent Secretary has already been suspended.
Kagame however downplayed the recent incidences implicating government officials saying that this does not imply that the government has lost the battle against corruption, noting that such issues exist in every society but what matters is how they are dealt with.
“Take an example from any place in the world. If this is an embarrassment, then it is shared all over the world. But that does not mean that systems have collapsed. I think we should not put things out of context,” he said.
He was however quick to warn that whether such officials naturally exist in any society, make mistakes, deliberately or out of ignorance, stern measures will always be taken against them, adding that that does not take away the importance of institutions.
In response to questions regarding relations with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kagame noted that the situation has changed positively in recent days, citing the commitment of DRC to deal with the problem of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).
He noted that the fact the DRC accepted to cooperate with Rwanda to solve the problem of FDLR was in itself an achievement.
The President commended the joint operation by the two countries as well as developments in North Kivu, which involved integrating forces which were fighting the government, including the CNDP, into the National army.
President Kagame however insisted that Rwanda stands and remains ready to work hand in hand with the Government of DRC, if called upon, to solve the common problem of FDLR, especially now that all the other rebel groups have ceased to exist.
On aid dependency
Meanwhile, the President took time to explain the new approaches the country will take in a bid to shift from heavy dependence on aid to a self-sustaining economy, noting that its in the will of the country and the people to desist from the idea of depending on ‘someone’s money’ for survival.
He noted that some of the new variants include hard work and utilising the available resources to achieve the country’s goals so that in the event those who give decide to take away, the economy is able to sustain itself.
Also mentioned by the Minister of Finance, James Musoni, are strategies which are aimed at increasing domestic savings which include cooperatives and a provident fund amounting to over Rwf 500bn of pre-retirement savings as well as a functioning stock market.
The press conference was attended by both the local and international media.