No excuse for poor services- President Kagame

By Nicole Kamanzi M.
On 2 November 2020 at 06:31

President Paul Kagame has told leaders that Rwandans expect more from them, urging them to step up efforts to fulfill their responsibilities, correct past mistakes and deliver on what they are expected to.

The President made the remarks at the inauguration ceremony of the 2019/20 Performance contracts signing. In last year’s performance, the district came first in the North followed by Huye and Rwamagana while Nyabihu, Karongi and Rusizi were the last.

President Kagame said that in some instances, officials fail to deliver to the expectation and they give an excuse that their institutions failed to work together.

He said in some instances things don’t work because a leader was not given some bribe to do the work or in other cases, leaders say that there was no planning.
“They (citizen) paid you long ago through taxes-how do you delay them again, how do you ask them more money?” he said.

The President is aware that some officials delay services and bring an excuse of the laws and procedures.

“The first thing a leader should be doing is to find a way to deliver well and quickly instead of finding reasons that allow them not to deliver,” the president said adding that laws were not put in place to delay procedures but to speed up services.

He said the only problem is that corrupt officials tend to complicate them with an intention to mislead or to push service seekers to bribe them.

“When you consider that there was no problem of budget, you wonder how someone would lack the will to do what they are expected to,” the president said. “How do you explain that?”

“Suppose that one lacks planning skills, but again, how do you still fail to hire someone who can help you do proper planning, yet you have a budget?”
The President said he is concerned that sometimes he talks to leaders who lack development ambitions.

“My wish would be that we all graduate from petty things, but I will always swallow my pride since others have also the right to do what they want. However, we shall keep pushing to have someone on board who is willing to also take the development path.”

President Kagame criticized leaders who discourage others when they come into offices and try to introduce new ways of working, highlighting an example of returnees who may have worked abroad.

“In other [developed] countries, there is limited room for mistakes and you are held accountable for the things you are meant to do,” he said.

“When people who worked in that setting come back home and try to introduce that way of working, they are intimidated by those they find in offices that they can’t work that way,” he added.

He insisted that this behavior shouldn’t be entertained in any way.

The president showed concrete examples of mediocrity from district performance-imihigo.

“The districts that have been doing well are now doing bad and vice-versa and some of you may blame COVID-19 but it is not the case,” Kagame said.

Talking about a challenge that he personally witnessed in Musanze district while on his outreach last year, the Head of State said: “I showed both the mayor and the governor something but I was surprised they could not see it,” Kagame said.

He explained that he saw fire gutting a specific hill and he showed it to both the mayor and the governor.

"For example, I spent the night in Musanze, in the morning until about noon, at eight o’clock looking everywhere, and I noticed a place that was on fire and smoke in a very big place," he said.

“I wanted to know what was happening, what they were doing was burning the forest, making charcoal. So I called leaders and asked them what they knew about the fire I was seeing if it was a daily thing. I asked [the authorities] do you not live here in this district? [...] I found out that they don’t see it. It was when I pointed a finger to asking them, don’t you see the smoke? They saw it because I was telling them to look at it. ”

President Kagame tasked leaders to go back and improve targets and widen the scope, including indicators related to improving housing and hygiene for citizens.