Kigali, 25 June 2015
President Kagame today at Parliament, officiated at the swearing-in of the new Minister of Education, Papius Musafiri, Senator Jean De Dieu Mucyo and members of Parliament; Pierre Claver Rwaka, Damien Nyabyenda and Jean Pierre Hindura. At the same occasion, Mr. Xavier Ndahayo, swore in as Vice-President of the High Court while Prof. Dr. Alphonse Munyampfura Ngagi, Agnes Murorunkwere Nyirandabaruta andMuyoboke Kalimunda swore in as new Supreme Court Judges.
In his address, President Kagame asked the new leaders to fulfil and respect the oaths they had taken, by selflessly serving the people and the country of Rwanda.
“When we are taking oath of service, what we pledge to do for Rwandans and our country is not working as mercenaries. It shouldn’t be about waking up and going to office to only sign to register our presence at work. It’s not about punctuality in reporting or signing off from work; it is mainly about working with your country and people in mind, it is about what we are, what we want to achieve and what we want to be.”
Reminding the leaders that they needed to stay focused for Rwanda and Africa to cover the immense ground ahead, President Kagame pointed out that leaders should support those who become weak along the way so that they can be part of the journey instead of waiting for someone else to help them:
“Eventually someone else who is going to help them will want to turn them into what he or she wants, rather that help them realise want they wanted themselves to achieve. It’s about the choice we make, and we have already made ours. When you don’t respect yourself no one else will do, never. Even when you do respect yourself, some people won’t, but that is okay. We, as Rwandans and Africans in general are still working to achieve what we want to be. There is still a long way to go, we are always reminded it is a long way to go.”
Demonstrating how the journey of self determination is always a difficult one; President Kagame drew the example of the arrest of Rwanda’s head of Security and Intelligence, Gen. Karenzi Karake in the United Kingdom this week, which he said was a show of absolute contempt for Rwandans and Africans who don’t feature in their considerations:
“We have one of our senior government officials; the head of our security and intelligence organization, a general, a freedom fighter; somebody who fought to make this country what it has become, and on this long journey towards what we want to become. He was picked on the street in London. He is an official, going to do duties that fall in his responsibilities, and he is arrested as he is boarding a plane to come back home. From that we are told that there was a request from Spain, another country – it’s in UK first and then in Spain – that this person is wanted in Spain and therefore should be extradited to Spain for whatever crimes Spain says they want him for. It doesn’t matter the facts, the context, because he has to be handed over, we are told.”
Condemning the action, President Kagame said there was no basis for the arrest of Gen. Karenzi Karake other than arrogance and contempt:
“What right did this country have to arrest him in this manner let alone talk about extradition? None of these two or more things have any basis other than absolute arrogance and holding people in contempt. It can be the only basis. So, if people talk about the rule of law and if they respect their laws at all, you can’t treat people like this. If this is how Africans must be treated – imagine if we arrested here, even for any good reason, one of their chiefs of anything – is that even thinkable? Is that even something you can think of? You know what would happen. But it is easy to do it to the Africans. I think they must have mistaken him, you know, for this problem they have of illegal immigrants, these fellows who are sinking in boats in the Mediterranean, these brothers and sisters of ours and children and so on. The way they treat that is the way they treat a Minister from Africa, head of intelligence.”
President Kagame called on Rwandans to keep their heads cool because in the end they would prevail, no matter the time it would take:
“So those who take us on, we advise them that we are aware that we are in it for the long haul. We can absorb a lot of these things and still remain with our heads high.”
President Kagame pointed out that what Rwandans have learnt along the way is to be patient and not just hope for time because as much as time is important, it is also about what you do with the time.