Kigali, 15 June 2013
President Kagame today met with print and broadcast editors from various local media houses at an interactive mini-press conference where he discussed local, regional and continental issues.
Concerning Rwanda’s 2013/14 budget that was read on June 14 showing Rwanda would be able to finance it by 62.2%, President Kagame said the Eurobond did contribute to a very small percentage but that generally, this was a result of varying efforts to collect enough internal revenues to finance activities in the National Budget.
On the debut $400 million Eurobond, President Kagame said that although Rwanda is driven by ambition, the country found it prudent to ‘chew what it could swallow’ but would aim for a higher bond next time.
“Everything needs some kind of balance. Rwanda was seeking something it could manage. This was built on our government’s prudence and the financial markets responded the way they did because they saw Rwanda as a well governed nation.”
Commenting on President Kikwete’s statement in during the AU 50th Anniversary suggesting that Rwanda should negotiate with FDLR, President Kagame said that he had had no time to talk about it, but that he believed that there would be time to address it in the right forum. President Kagame said that prior to President Kikwete’s statement; there had been writings in Tanzanian media reminiscent of pre-genocide Rwanda, making one suspect that there could be a deliberate trend.
Other pertinent issues discussed by President Kagame included the return of Faustin Twagiramungu, the recent Cabinet reshuffle, the 16 students who recently fled to Uganda after the Rwanda Examinations Council cancelled their exams due to malpractices and fraud and the ongoing debate on power transition, among others.
On the 16 students who fled to Uganda, President Kagame said that it was unacceptable for people to turn criminality into reasons to seek for asylum. These are part of 574 students who were studying at informal ‘coaching centres’, and through the proprietors of these centres, bribed head teachers of formal schools to register them as fulltime candidates to sit for senior six exams. When the Rwanda Examinations Council discovered these malpractices, the results were cancelled, and the students were asked to re-sit the exams. 16 decided to flee and seek asylum in Uganda.
On the ongoing Presidential transition debate, President Kagame said that although there were diverging views on the issue, his stand was for change, continuity of progress and stability:
“I will respect the constitution and the people who put it in place. If democracy is about the respect of the people, then I believe that the will of the people should be respected. However, I am not inclined to any views myself, I am only supposed to do the job that I am mandated to do until 2017.”
On the increasingly competing interest in Africa by the West and the Easy, President Kagame said that instead of getting worried, Africans should instead ready itself to leverage the interests to their benefit. President Kagame said the interest should not go away; instead, Africans must change their mentalities. On the ICC, President Kagame said that Africans should look at solving their own problems and should not expect any institution from outside to come and solve their problems in good faith.
On Rwanda Football and local sport in general, President Kagame said he was disappointed in the management of football because they have failed to instill a winning attitude in teams, especially football. He said that football managers should be able to change the trend or stop football competitions in the country all together until a time they will get it right.