Local leaders must tirelessly think of solutions to national challenges to make the lives of citizens much better every day- President Paul Kagame today said while addressing a local leaders retreat.
The three-day retreat that opened today is currently taking place at Petit Stade in Gasabo district.
Local leaders include governors, mayors, sector and cell executive secretaries among others.
According to territorial administration Rwanda is divided into 30 Districts, 416 Sectors, 2148 Cells and 14 837 Villages.
The president wants local leaders to think widely because Rwanda has unique challenges and therefore requires unique way of finding solutions.
He reminded the leaders that in the past years, some people didn’t wish anything good for Rwanda and had tried to subject the country to challenges from all sides (North, East, West and South); “their intention was to suffocate the country into a failed state.”
Giving an example of cow ghee, that when you press it between your palms, the ghee definitely finds its way through the spaces between the fingers.
Local leaders therefore should concentrate of identifying the daily national challenges and find solutions.
He said similarly, if in a community there is a well in someone’s land and all the people fetch water there. What will happen when this person fences off his land? The other people will have to think very deep to find solutions on how they will survive. This is just the case for landlocked Rwanda. We do not have access to the Sea.
But all these solutions to our challenges must be well thought of by all of us. We must work to progress not just to survive.
Why are leaders failing to Solve Problems?
President Kagame wants local leaders to carefully identify problems; those that need quick fixing and separate them from those that need long term fixing; “this ensures smooth functioning of leadership.”
For Kagame, the Leaders have developed a habit of apologizing every time for the same recurrent simple problems unsolved; “Every time you say you are sorry, it is admission that there is a problem.”
Whenever I want to speak to a minister or Mayor, they are always in meetings. “But if those meetings were solutions, why do these problems keep coming?” he asked.
As local leaders, president Kagame told them their sole purpose is to work for the general development and wellbeing of Rwandans.
Meanwhile, communication between local leaders is very important for proper functioning of national institutions.
The president cautioned the leaders against self-importance when some of the citizens are still suffering from jiggers, poverty, “No leader will go to heaven while citizens have jiggers.”
Malnutrition among children, poor sanitation, Citizens sharing rooms with livestock, beggars on streets and children not in school are such big challenges yet there are measures in place to curtail them; “what is lacking to end all this?” Kagame inquired.
“You must be held accountable for failing to fulfill your duties and responsibilities because this has an effect on the people and the country,” The president warned.