While officially opening the 17th National Leadership
Retreat on Sunday, President Paul Kagame criticized people in leadership
positions who fail in their duties because of inappropriate behavior and urged
young people not to fall into such traps and make similar mistakes in the future.
This was the first time President Kagame openly addressed the recent resignations of three members of the cabinet; Diane Gashumba, Minister of Health; Evode Uwizeyimana, State Minister in Charge of Constitution and Legal Affairs, Isaac Munyakazi, Minister of State for Primary and Secondary.
The head of state shed more light as to why the trio quit.
"Let me start with Evode (Uwizeyimana). He pushed a young girl down to the ground, sending her rolling aside. That was his response to her as a Minister. However, that was not the first incident, nor the second; that is how he has always acted and some of you know this, you saw this and kept quiet about it. School officials went to see (Isaac) Munyakazi, and he took a school that was the worst performer and changed its status so that it appeared among the best performers. They gave him money to do that. Your downfalls are caused by even the pettiest of things, just Rwf500,000,” President Kagame said.
He added, “As for Diane Gashumba, it was not just one incident. It happened many times. After I received that report from security organs, I reached out to the Ministry of Health and asked: How come even though you say that equipment can be used on 3,500 people; it apparently can only be applied to 95; is that true? And the reply was yes, that's true."
The Head of State was apparently very eager for the retreat to convene so that these and other matters may be addressed.
"As this day approached, I did not feel it would come fast enough because I wanted this to happen. Today I will talk about each and every one of you, I will hold back for no one. As we gather here, some Ministers are missing. Is today Sunday? Had we started this Retreat on Tuesday, 3 more would not be here; another 3 Ministers or so," President Kagame noted.
The President stressed that one of the reasons some national development objectives are difficult to attain are the bad habits of some leaders and asked young people not to fall into that trap in the future.
"The things we do not do, do not fulfill and yet are our responsibilities; the primary reason for it is just one: bad habits. The truth is, those bad habits appear to be in many people, not just a few. Those bad habits prevent you from doing the very things you vowed to do. Do not learn the bad habits of these people I was talking about, as you grow up, taking up more responsibilities for the sake of your country, I ask you earnestly to avoid bad habits. Some bad habits bring profit, but that sort of profit does not last,” The head of state said.
President Kagame also noted that the last 2 years have presented challenges for the country, but that they have only served to reinforce certain truths that should not be ignored moving forward.
"There are certain things we experienced in 2018/2019, some of which we are still experiencing; problems. However, those problems prompted us to do better and make progress because they woke us up. We were asleep and we awoke to the realization of their existence, but this is my point: The problems caused by our neighbours in the North, the Ugandans; apparently they are constantly pushing for us to be as they want. If they listened, they would realize that it is impossible. The fact is we know each other, they know us and we know them. They know it is not possible,” President Kagame added.
As for the implementation rate of last year's 10 Leadership Retreat Resolutions, Prime Minister Dr. Édouard Ngirente told those gathered that 57 projects and causes of action resulted from those resolutions, with 43 implemented at a rate of 75%; 10 with implementation rates of between 50 and 74%; and another 10 with implementation rates below 50%.
Panel discussions on Day one of the Retreat focused on the Vision 2050.
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