Ruhango District, 20 May 2012
Greetings to all the people of Ruhango and others who have made it here today from different districts. How are you all? I am delighted to be here with you today and to thank you for all you are doing to contribute to your own development and that of our country.
Thank you for coming in large numbers to meet and discuss issues that can help our country progress further.
A lot has been said, but allow me repeat some in detail in a manner that would allow us to continue developing.
First and foremost, we must understand the strength of working together. If we all use our will, strength and knowledge, we have the ability to transform our lives for the better. We can achieve the kind of development attained in other developed countries. Such developed nations have more wealth and have surplus from which they donate to take care of Rwandans.
Rwandans are not supposed to be taken care of by surplus wealth from other countries. Do you want to live like this? No, you cannot go to your dining table and wait to be given leftovers. This is not proper. You ought to serve yourselves what you yourself have served on your dining table. There are a lot of examples that have proved this is possible.
For this to be realized and to be able to transform our lives, we must change our attitudes.
Did you all hear what Madame Mukarugambwa shared with us? She is like anyone of you. What she can do, you also have the capacity to do.
She thought about going to the bank and getting a loan, and buying a hoe which she later used to cultivate her land. Why would you buy a hoe if you won’t cultivate?
We had agreed on many things. Some have been done while others are underway. We must fulfill all we agreed on because it’s in the best of our interests.
The government will provide you with the vision, means and partnership but the rest is up to all Rwandans to put in action. If the government gave you a cow, it won’t also graze it for you. It’s you to graze it. You must put your effort and graze it well and make it productive and be able to solve your problems and improve your living standards.
If the government gives you a hoe, it will not come and use it to cultivate for you. It’s you to use the hoe. We must share the work and everyone must benefit from this to transform lives. When your lives change, the life of the nation also changes.
Fifteen years ago, Rwanda was not where it is today. We have progressed substantially. In the next ten years we must progress further. This is how people live and this is how they accord themselves dignity. We should not just talk about it as a parable.
What we have achieved is visible among the citizens. Everyone can see that even on your faces. You all look very smart and healthy – that’s how people should be; coming up with solutions to their own problems.
We are gradually leaving behind a lot of problems and heading towards homegrown solutions. Even after here we shall be discussing solutions not problems. Do not bring problems here; come with solutions – this should become our culture. Even the songs you sang today have good lyrics. It would also be good if we would base on those good words to do better work.
Do not allow anyone to destroy how far we have come. Always condemn such people. Don’t be lenient with such people. People focused on solutions do not destroy. Such people should be left behind because their main aim is to destroy. We should not be interested in working with such people because they are problematic.
Do not allow anybody to destabilize your security, culture, roads and lives. Your lives are not to be played around with or to be destroyed. Life is for those that have dignity and it’s in your capacity to accord dignity to yourselves.
This is all in line with what has brought us here. I have seen a new hospital built here in Ruhango, it looks better than other hospitals in the city. We must remember, though, that the work should not only stop at the building alone, you need to utilize the hospital well.
The hospital should help save and maintain citizens’ lives, sensitize citizens on how to prevent diseases and other health issues and provide better services. I will return and inquire from you on the quality of services the hospital will give you.
There is also a cassava processing plant. In the past, Cassava used to be eaten raw; others would prefer it roasted while others would boil it. That was the value of cassava at the local level.
The factory will add more value to the cassava and we will be able to export it to Europe. This will add value to cassava farmers in Rwanda. You should now grow more cassava and supply it to the factory to not only add value but also increase your income.
If you want to acquire shares in the cassava factory, the process should be easy; you first form a cooperative and if possible you can secure a stake in the factory. This would not only improve your lives but it will also promote the factory.
In the past we lost a lot of time. We now don’t want to lose anymore. We need to work hard and achieve quick progress without wasting time.
I have also seen a swamp near the factory and wondered why the swamp is just full of water…Why should it be a problem rather than a solution? It should be reclaimed so that it can become productive. Those concerned should make a follow-up on that swamp.
Residents of Ruhango that was the message I had for you and as I promised, I will return. Work hard and continue developing.
Thank you very much.