President Kagame urges local leaders to improve service delivery

Friday August 26 2022
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President Kagame visited Nyamagabe an interacted with citizens as part of Citizen Outreach Program. Photo: Cyril Ndegeya

By Ange Iliza

President Paul Kagame has cautioned local leaders against complacency and poor service delivery that stalls government programs for citizens.

He made the remarks on Friday in Nyamagabe district during a meeting with citizens and local leaders.

During the session, several citizens raised complaints about limited access to infrastructure including roads, water, high cost of doing business and delayed compensation after court orders were issued.  

He warned that leaders will be held accountable should they not deliver their responsibilities.

“I want us to address the issues of leaders who stall problems and fail to deliver on their responsibilities. Some of the problems raised were here the last time I visited. Let us discuss more achievements than problems the next time I visit...” President Kagame said.

President Kagame raised the same issue during his meeting with over 800 opinion leaders from the southern province in Huye district on Thursday. He questioned quality facilities that cost money to build but are not used to full capacity. He called on them to prioritize solutions to existing challenges.


"The good thing is to know what awaits us, if you have a way to confront them, do it, but let us not tear apart those with whom we share the same challenges,” he said.

Among the discussed issues is Gitare Mill, a wheat factory that would be among the largest in the region if operational. Nyamagabe wheat farmers have been grappling with low prices for wheat because the only available wheat processing facility in the area, Gitare Mills, halted its operations.

President Kagame questioned the Mayor of Nyamagabe and the Ministry of Infrastructure who responded that the factory has been in hands of several private owners who failed to keep it operational. In 2019, the then owners of the factory were reported to be saddled with debt.

Société Mutuelle de Garantie et de Financement (SMGF), the company which operated the factory at the time, acquired a loan from Ecobank Rwanda to conduct its other businesses, but staked the assets of Gitare Mills as collateral.

The firm failed to honor its obligation and was involved in a court battle with Ecobank to salvage Gitare Mills from possible auction. Ecobank later took over the factory in 2019. The factory was later put under new management.

Wheat is a staple food and among the most grown crops in Nyamagabe district.

Rwanda seeks to cut back on wheat imports and cut back on $35 million to $40 million spent on wheat imports every year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture data.

The tour is part of his citizen outreach program aimed at interacting with citizens and getting their views on governance.

The tour is the first in-person meeting since 2019. It comes as Rwanda prepares for presidential and parliamentary elections in 2023 and 2024.

The President is expected in Nyamasheke district, Western Province on Saturday. He will conclude his tour in Karongi district on Sunday, August 28.