Taarifa Rwanda

Will Retreat Show How Efficient Prime Minister Ngirente Is?

The 16th National Leadership Retreat will last for 5 days compared to four days of the 15th edition.

These few days are of serious audit of progress on functioning of the government which Prime Minister Dr. Edourd Ngirente has been managing for the past 18 months.

President Paul Kagame always chairs this retreat during which all matters of the state are touched.

The president asks questions and he must get answers, sometimes they are difficult questions that require respondents to first form discussion groups and later return with convincing answers.

During the 15th retreat, President Kagame had been elected the African Union chairperson and it was evident he would have too much workload juggling between affairs of Rwanda and those of 54 states that make up the Union.

However, six months before the 15th retreat, Kagame had surprised his government with a new appointment of Prime Minister; Dr. Edourd Ngirente.

From the look of things, President Kagame had high hopes in Dr. Ngirente.

President Paul Kagame (L) consults with Prime Minister Dr. Ngirente during the 15th National Leadership Retreat

During the retreat, the two sat next to next on the table of honour and smiled back and forth.

It was clear that while Kagame would be busy with AU matters, Ngirente would also efficiently manage his government.

Before Dr. Ngirente arrived into the high echelons of power, President Kagame had challenges with his team.

The President was disappointed with appalling levels of service delivery, malnutrition, poor hygiene and incompetence of leaders mired by lack of coordination.

Basically these were Dr. Ngirente’s urgent tasks to fix.

Later the Prime Minister observed to the retreat that he had noticed poor and ineffective work delivery which hinders the nation from achieving goals according to plan.

For those who have keenly kept track of deliberations at National Leadership Retreat can tell that it is also a forum that openly points to who would get fired or reassigned.

For example when the president asked questions on matters under Governance, Agriculture and mega Infrastructure projects, one could notice that he was not convinced by responses from ministers Francis Kaboneka, Gérardine Mukeshimana and James Musoni.

Of these three only Gérardine Mukeshimana survived the reshuffle.

For the past one year since the 15th retreat, a lot has happened under the stewardship of Dr. Ngirente. For example some cases on ineffective work delivery were exposed coupled with corruption and mismanagement of public resources and deliberate abuse of office by some leaders.

One of the most daring discoveries was mismanagement of the factories under the National Industrial Research and Development Agency (NIRDA) – this agency was established in 2013 with a mission to implement national industrial development policy.

Billions had not been accounted for and this led to an audit which revealed some irregularities in procurement, administration and financial management. Some arrests were made to pave way for course of the law.

The involvement of the long arm of the law is expected to save community processing centres including; Rwamagana Banana Wine CPCs, Nyabihu Potatoes Factory, Nyanza Ceramics CPC, Rutsiro Honey CPC and Burera Dairy CPC.

Also Dr. Ngirente traversed districts of the southern province which is a poor performer compared to other provinces.

Something was not clear why Huye town suddenly became dormant despite being home to the largest academic institution in the country. Most buildings had shut down and some streets empty.

In 2013, Huye district authorities ordered all traders to vacate old buildings to enable landlords to start constructing modern buildings, under the new town’s master plan.

But some of these landlords do not have the money to build structures that the town wants.

And this has partly prevented progress which has led to the eventual switch of Huye town into sleeping mode.

When the Prime Minister visited this town, he was not convinced how such a town would just be dormant.

Now, all graduation ceremonies under the National University are always going to be held in Huye town making it more attractive to business.

Another score and intervention is evident across different parts of Rwanda, children under five years are occasionally given parked milk under a new school program which aims at cutting down on malnutrition.

With this and more, the ongoing 16th National Leadership Retreat will expose the good performers and the bad performers while some will be booked for sacking after the retreat.

Of course Prime Minister Dr. Ngirente will give a detailed account of the state of his government team and how it has performed since he was entrusted with such powers.

Not until Tuesday (March 12), shall we know the outcome of the 16th National Leadership Retreat.

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