President Paul Kagame was on Monday, September 28, while addressing members of the extended National Executive Committee (NEC) of RPF-Inkotanyi, which took place at the party headquarters in Rusororo, Gasabo District.
“For years, we’ve had people requesting to be naturalized Rwandans. I keep telling leaders, I hope they agree with me, whoever wants to be one of us should be given the opportunity, as long as they want to make a contribution towards building our country,”
For Kagame, it would be shameful for any Rwandan to wish to belong somewhere else while many want to come here.
“I would not wish to be anyone else or from anywhere else. We must be proud to be who we are. Whoever wants to be someone else, that’s their problem. It would be shameful because there are people who want to be us,” Kagame said.
The president also referred to the hostilities of past Rwandan regimes that were against people, including Rwandans themselves and indicated that Rwanda today is different.
“We cannot say the country is full, like those before used to proclaim, therefore we could not be accommodated. That is not who we are. There is room for everyone, including those Rwandans who are still abroad,” the President said adding however that, accommodating people should not be interpreted wrongly.
“However, being accommodative of everyone should not be misconstrued to mean that we are submissive. It does not mean that some people are going to claim to be more important than everybody else. We are all equal and must be treated equally,” Kagame said.
Furthermore, President Kagame reiterated the values of a Rwandan leader and the dos and don’ts.
“Last time we met, we talked about corruption and other governance challenges that negatively impact Rwandans. This should not still be happening. When fighting a bad habit, we have to uproot it, rather than get to a point where it’s tolerable,” he said.
Kagame asked officials to work hard for the community they are meant to serve.
“Working for the wellbeing of Rwandans is a mandate that does not change under any circumstances. People should get what they deserve. We cannot be drawn back to where this country came from,” he said.
“For all our aspirations to be achieved, it will require effort of everyone, you and me. We may defer in ways we think or do things, but we have a common vision, building the nation. Everyone must make their contribution to move the country forward.”
President Kagame said that the government is doing all it can to ensure that life continues because when a business person isn’t able to trade, or children are not going to school, it becomes a problem not only for the people but also for the economy in general.
He said that whatever the government does is and should be for the wellbeing of Rwandans, something he said is a mandate that does not change under any circumstances.
“People should get what they deserve. We cannot be drawn back to where this country came from,” President Kagame said.
He said the ruling party will continue working towards achieving the goal but each and every Rwanda will have to play their part, especially young people, who he challenged to be solution seekers and stop pointing out where problems are in society without doing anything about them.
“For all our aspirations to be achieved, it will require effort from everyone, you and me. We may defer in ways we think or do things, but we have a common vision, building the nation. Everyone must make their contribution to move the country forward,”
“We face challenges in different forms; in our communities, as a nation, in the region we live in or even at the global scale. Overcoming these problems requires working together. Rwanda is not an island,”
The president was straight to the point where he indicated that it belongs to everyone to pay taxes.
“For instance, we must fulfill our fiscal responsibilities. When you have conducted business, it is your duty to pay tax. We need the tax to build schools, roads etc. It is for the general interest, so whether you like or not, you must comply,” he said.
The Head of State said that he has no problem with being insulted or Rwanda being called a ‘dictatorship’ as long as long as they don’t interfere with the country’s right to defend its territory or determine its development course.
Talking of bad services, President Kagame said that the biggest challenge the country faces today is poor service delivery, not because of lack of infrastructure or means to provide good services but mainly because of a poor attitude that doesn’t give priority to urgency.
“We need to be doing things at the pace we need to develop. We need to do things faster and better. Mindset is very important,” President Kagame said
He said there is a tendency of people saying that ‘the machine is not working’, ‘come back tomorrow’, and ‘we don’t have this or that’, just to delay a service that must be given to a citizen.
“The issue is in people’s mindsets. If you have everything required to give a service, why don’t you give the service? Why do you have to wait for another hour, another day to give a service you should give, there and then?”
He pointed out that that mindset or attitude cannot be imported from anywhere but it needs people to proactively reject bad service.
“It happens because of two reasons -the person who is supposed to give the service and is not doing so and you who is supposed to get a service and you don’t get it and then all of us who become part of the problem,”
“If you just accept things to be that way, you walk out of the room and go complaining on the way or you vent your anger elsewhere, you are part of the problem because you are not doing anything about it,” President Kagame said.
He encouraged the youth especially to be categorical in rejecting bad services and to also do something to address it rather than complaining.