Nyamagabe residents, I greet you all.
Thank you for sparing your time to come, leaving your work and coming here so that we discuss issues concerning our development. I am glad I got time to come and meet with you after quite a while.
It’s been a long time since we met. We had agreed upon some issues and today it’s good to revisit what we accomplished and assess where we have reached and develop our country and ourselves as well.
I would also like to take this time to appreciate what you have achieved. As mentioned by your leaders there are visible strides that have been registered, but we are coming from very far.
We have not reached the level we wish to be. Even with the numbers that have been presented, little has been achieved in terms of availing water to residents, roads, industries, and other activities. Some progress has been made but when you want to approach 100% and yet you are at 40%, it’s not satisfactory. I want us to exceed 50%.
When they mention access to water in some places is at 60%, I wonder why those rates do not get to 80% or 90% for all residents to access clean water and near them, but not having to move as far as 5 or 10 km searching for water.
We must change this, find solutions for it. Some areas are even far below this. Some things have been mentioned and we will continue to do so, but we must also lift up those consider those that are still way behind.
There have been issues coming back since yesterday when I visited. The Kaduha – Gitwe corridor is not supposed to be left out and behind. It should develop like the rest of the country. There is a lot of poverty, there are no roads, no infrastructure on the ground. This must change.
Developing our country means developing all parts of the country, Nyamagabe should not be left out in terms of development or compared to Kigali, Nyamagabe should be defined by its developmental policies aligning with the rest of the country’s development policies. That is how a country develops.
Nyamagabe has registered some progress and I commend what has been done in the private sector, government entities, and the government itself in all that it is doing. Yes, some strides have been made but we are not yet at a satisfactory level.
Our collective strength comes from cooperation, understanding, and supporting each other. Leaders, at all levels, must understand the weight of responsibilities they have towards serving you and feel concerned when they do not get what they should have and when there is no reason they should not.
This requires us to work together, leaders have to follow up and know what is required and is possible in a certain period. Something might be impossible today but possible in the coming months. All this should be considered: what can be solved in the coming months or what is complicated and can take even a year. All this should be known and communicated and solutions found.
That is possible when there is good understanding between the leaders and their people, the private sector, and other institutions concerned with the well-being of our country.
That requires a certain culture. In Kinyarwanda, culture means a lot of things; culture goes hand in hand with behavior, performance, and perception, many things, and we must have a culture that aims at working hard to transform our lives.
If this culture is not present even if the necessary resources are available, nothing can be achieved. If those resources are not used well or are misused., when this culture is lacking, it is always a reminder that we must have it, what we must do well and on time, so that we get the results we desire and deserve.
This starts with leaders, those they lead, and so it reflects through the results of what was being done, where people say they are happy with what has been done or when not in place and you know it has effects on people or they can criticize them.
Let me give one example. Yesterday I told those I was with, that there are things we need, we know, we say, and there are methods of operation and even possible tools.
A few moments ago an issue regarding a wheat factory here in Nyamagabe was raised and even the last time I was here the same problem was mentioned.
We indeed promised each other that we would find a solution to this issue.
But up to today, I haven’t received anyone who has explained to me why a new modern factory that can process wheat in Nyamagabe is not operational.
I do not know if there is anyone here who can enlighten me and explain to us so that we understand.
But if every important thing that needs to be done urgently, that could be done in one week, in one month, is done in three years, those operations are not appropriate. It is not right. Even if it’s difficult, you can indicate that “this is a problem, and people know it and then take appropriate measures.
But if you have a problem and follow it up without solving it and just continue talking about it… we will have to come back to that. I will ask the leaders here.
Because waiting for me to come here and they give me a list of problems, yet they have the means and authority to solve them is something that I don’t understand. I don’t understand that at all!
They don’t even fear asking what they can do about that or saying that they will solve a particular problem. That is like saying nothing happened, nothing was lacking, because if something was lacking, a leader would have said that but when a person says they will work on it and then you waste five years and then now you say that you will work on it…! What stopped you from working on it then?
And that keeps occurring, every time you ask what happened. I don’t even understand why they don’t explain why they didn’t do anything about it. When someone doesn’t explain, it means nothing is lacking.
The only thing absent is the one supposed to work on that. This kind of working arrangement is not the one we agreed on. Every time we talk about the way we are supposed to work as Rwandans, our wish to develop rapidly, doing everything possible and I mean those things which are possible, we never ask or demand for things that are impossible to solve.
What stops us from doing those things which we can manage so that we talk about things we can’t solve or those that are difficult to solve so that soon we can look for ways of getting solutions?
So that is the kind of working culture that I started with, a culture of thinking about what is possible immediately and what can be done and its consequences on the life of people. And you find that type of culture is with someone who has problems, if you have a problem but also have a culture of not wanting to solve certain things, it means as a person, you have a problem. Someone can say that the solution to this problem is this and that is how you go about it. If you do this, then you will have solved the problem but then someone will just say I will do that tomorrow, or I will do it next year. Is that possible?
So, the reason that brought me here to meet with you is to thank you for what we have done since 2017 up to now. In 2017, I came here asking you for some things which you gave me. I also promised to give you something too. But in that time all of us…you did what you were supposed to do then but that is not where it was supposed to stop. What you did in 2017 gave us a foundation on which to start and achieve many things.
Even what I promised you, I promised that with the knowledge that it is possible but with your input too. When you don’t include your input then we don’t meet those targets. What has brought me here is to remind you that there are many things that we should be doing so that we can develop. I will not dwell on the other things, things like security, in general, there is security, there are small incidences of insecurity that emanate from across the border, but this too will be solved one way or the other.
But for the most part, there is security and I thank you for that, the way you take it as a priority is the reason that there is a guarantee of security. What is remaining is for other entities to work closely with the people to solve the remaining problems.
In a few words, I want to repeat that although I used the examples of Kaduha – Gitwe corridor, this applies to other areas with similar problems that we must address together and solve.
I wish that we solve this problem of leaders who delay solving people’s problems and even those who have the means to solve problems but are not available. I wish that we come back to that, we will revisit that and follow up so that we get a solution.
Let me conclude by thanking you, other than the good work you are doing, there was a time when we had people who were not able to do any work because of the pandemic, but because of our good culture of listening, working together helped us to cope with the pandemic successfully.
The pandemic took the lives of some of our people but we worked so that we don’t lose many people. That is why I mentioned our culture of being hardworking and doing things quickly. That is why I am thanking you for the way you behaved during the Covid-19 pandemic in very difficult circumstances when it was not possible for people to move, or do anything, not being able to solve problems the way we would have wished to but we managed to pass through that phase.
There was a likelihood of losing more people than the ones we lost. There was cooperation between the government, the private sector, religious leaders, and the general population. Everyone worked together, the pandemic hit the whole world, Rwanda inclusive.
Let us continue from there. That working culture is good. People of Nyamagabe, I thank you and wish that we continue working together and achieving our targets.
Have a good day. Now it is time for you to contribute to the discussion. The floor is yours. Thank you.