President Paul Kagame has challenged members of the ruling RPF-Inkotanyi to hold one another accountable, adding that an accountable society begins with them.
Addressing over 2,400 party cadres at Intare Conference Arena in Rusororo Sector, Kagame said that a meeting like this should not be a platform for members to talk endlessly, praising them.
The cadres were meeting for the party Congress which brings together party representatives from the grassroots to the national level.
It also attracted representatives from members living in the Diaspora.
“No RPF member should shy away from exposing wrongdoing. If you see something done the way it shouldn’t be, fight it fearlessly. Never get tired of fighting against what is done wrong,” Kagame said.
He said that choosing silence when witnessing seeing someone stealing from the public or hiring through nepotism, makes one as guilty as the author themselves.
“How can you claim to be afraid to hold each other accountable when people sacrificed their lives for the country to be where it is today. We have to put the interests of citizens above our own,” he told the party members.
The values of democracy, transformation that people sing about should not remain in songs, Kagame added calling on the party cadres to strive to uphold those values.
President Kagame reflected on the journey made by the party that was born in exile 32 years ago, saying that most of the party members present were that old or even younger.
The Head of State said that the challenge to the current leadership is to ensure cadres remain on the same path.
“For the old and new generation of cadres, we should remain on the same path and principles on which the party was founded. The party leadership has the responsibility to facilitate that transition,” he said.
President Kagame challenged the party members to ensure the economic performance of the country is reflected in the welfare of each and every Rwandan.
He said that people should not just be contented with numbers showing economic growth without attaching meaning to those numbers.
“When we say 12% growth, they’re not just numbers, they reflect people, and how their lives are being affected,” he said.
He added: “In some places, calculating GDP per capita attributes wealth to people still living in abject poverty. These numbers end up being inaccurate. We want our numbers to reflect the reality.”
He said that this is a different case for Rwanda as seen through the stability the country has enjoyed for over two decades.
“Our security and stability results from the fact that our development numbers reflect the reality of our people’s day-to-day lives,” he said.
He added that the country’s citizenry should have something in their pockets and be able to put food on the table.
During the Congress, the party’s Secretary General François Ngarambe highlighted what has been achieved in the past two years.
The party activities, he said, are founded on the manifesto presented by the party chairman when he was campaigning for President in 2017.
“Over the past two years, we embarked on revamping the party structures from the village to the national level,” Ngarambe said.
He said that key activities of the party were two elections – for parliament and senators.
Regarding infrastructure, especially in the area of transport, he noted the three ports being set up on Lake Kivu, more roads under construction while the national carrier RwandAir continues to increase in the number of destinations.
In agriculture, he said that milk production had significantly increased while use of synthetic fertilisers are now being used on at least 43 per cent of farmland countrywide.
The meeting featured an interactive discussion that brought together party leaders representing two generations of the RPF cadreship who reflected on the journey made and the way forward.
General James Kabarebe took the audience through the challenges the RPF leadership went through, including inheriting a nation that was destroyed, but these were overcome because of good leadership and the spirit of resilience.
Different speakers who represented the younger generation vowed to build on the gains made by the previous generation.
In addition to leaders from other parties locally, the Congress was attended by a delegation from the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the Angolan ruling party.
Other invited guests included Senate President Iyamuremye Augustin Iyamuremye, Speaker Donatille Mukabalisa and Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente.