RWAMAGANA - President Paul Kagame yesterday urged residents of Ntebe Sector in Rwamagana District to work hard for the benefit of their community and the nation, emphasizing that Rwandans like other people elsewhere, have the capability to seek solutions to the country’s challenges without waiting for handouts.
The President had joined the residents for Umuganda that is held nationwide every last Saturday of the month. He encouraged participants to carry forward the Umuganda tradition saying that it has a value beyond the one-day activity as it promoted the principle of productive work.
President Kagame who has a home in the area, said that he would work with his immediate neighbours to ensure that area advances rapidly along with the rest of the country, and that no one should be left behind in the development process.
Saturday’s Umuganda, which aimed at boosting the ongoing crop intensification programme in Eastern Province, had participants preparing planting holes for new hybrid banana seedlings in a communal banana plantation.
The Minister of Agriculture, Christophe Bazivamo said that his ministry encouraged farmers to come together in organised communal farms concentrating on one crop in order to benefit from extension services such as fertilizers, improved seeds, technical assistance and support to reach markets.
President Kagame thanked the residents for actively engaging in the development programmes and said that the benefits were clearly evident in the quality and quantity of bananas being produced locally.
He called on them to protect the investments that had been made in the area, particularly in infrastructure, and to have the courage to demand services from their elected leaders as a right, and where necessary hold them accountable for not delivering on their mandates.
The President attracted cheers when he pointed out that leadership was not for leadership’s sake, with his own mandate requiring that he constantly ensures that the leaders work for the people, and that the citizens should also ask him to leave the day he stopped working for them.
Dwelling on the issue of accountability, the President gave an example of the problem of water shortages in Kigali city saying that he was not convinced that it was simply a result of the hot and dry season, and that he would put to task officials who had failed to properly implement programs that would have prevented the water problem.
Alongside around 2,000 Ntebe residents, others present at the Umuganda were high ranking government officials who included Ministers Protais Musoni and Agnes Kalibata, Chief of Defence Staff James Kabarebe and Acting Commissioner General of Police Mary Gahonzire.