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KAGAME: `We were not created to remain poor’

President Kagame says 2017 is for eliminating poverty in Rwanda

President Paul Kagame has urged Rwandans to work hard in order to eradicate poverty.

“We were not created to remain poor. We may have a history of poverty but we must work to leave it in the past,” he told residents of Karangazi at the Mbale site. The President who was touring Nyagatare District in the Eastern Province was holding a meet the people session.

The President told residents that this year will be a year of eliminating poverty in Rwanda.

He also visited several sites and held a similar meeting with citizens at the Matimba.

The first stop of his tour was at the Kagitumba One Stop Border Post (OSBP), a facility created to facilitate business between Uganda and Rwanda by considerably reducing clearing time of the goods that go through the border.

Following the visit to the border, President Kagame proceeded to meet with the residents of Matimba.

In his address, President Kagame called them to keep holding their leaders accountable in regards to how they manage public funds.

“You should not be afraid to hold public officials accountable and speak out when they are not serving citizens. Public officials have no right to use public resources as their own,” he said.

Kagame said if citizens hold them accountable, the leaders will not have a chance to embezzle public funds. He cited a case in which millions were lost under the Community Based Health Insurance contributions (mutuelle de santé).

In a country renowned world over for its anti-corruption stance, Kagame said cases of leaders misappropriating public resources are on the increase. He blamed it on failure by citizens to be vigilant.

He explained that the government was urgently pushing for electrification in the country.

“Our goal is to provide electricity to every citizen of our country. It is your right to demand it from us,” he said.

Kagame also spoke about security of residents and emphasised that for Rwanda to development, security for all must be guaranteed.

“We all have to maintain our security to attain our desired development. There is still a lot to be done and we must be ready to get it done.  To achieve more means even more hard work and better collaboration with the relevant institutions,” the president said.

Kagame is due for re-elections in August on the back of his impressive achievements on economic development, good governance, and security.

The last leg of his tour of the district saw the President visit EPIC hotel, a facility currently being developed by local investors to boost tourism in the region. He also visited the East African Granite Industries Ltd (EAGI), a granite-processing factory established in 2012.

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