Rwanda's Kagame begins tour of northern and western provinces

Wednesday May 8 2019

Rwandan President Kagame

Rwandan President Kagame waves to a crowd during a rally in Burera District on May 9, 2019 as part of a three-day tour of the northern and western provinces. PHOTO | URUGWIRO 

IVAN R. MUGISHA
By IVAN R. MUGISHA
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Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Wednesday began a three-day tour of the northern and western provinces, the first since the 2018 parliamentary elections.

President Kagame kick started the sojourn with a rally in Burera District in Northern Province, bordering Uganda.

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

He said that government would deliver on its promise of deploying more teachers and doctors, and improving health facilities and agricultural extension services in the region as requested by residents.

President Kagame said leaders will be held accountable should they not deliver the services.

He revealed that some residents had been crossing the border to seek medical services in Uganda yet the country has the potential to provide basic services.

“It is not understandable how residents go across the border to look for services that we have and have the potential to provide...I don’t have a problem with the residents but with the leaders who don’t provide these services,” said President Kagame.

“I have heard that some people even cross the border to just buy bread. I know we make bread in Rwanda; why don’t we supply it to all districts? If we don’t have leaders that can put this in line, then we have a problem...we have to hold leaders accountable from the highest to the lowest level.”

Burera District is home to Cyanika border post, one of the three crossing points between Rwanda and Uganda.

Rwanda has since late February “strongly” advised its citizens against travelling to Uganda following allegations of illegal arrests, torture and deportation of its citizens in Uganda.

President Kagame added that Rwanda aimed to live in peace with its neighbours.

“Some neighbours want to harm us. You can ignore those neighbours who want to cause us problems. We want to live in harmony with them, but we cannot allow them to do whatever they want to us,” he said.

On Thursday, the president will hold a rally in Rubavu District near DR Congo, after which he will tour Rutsiro District.

He will conclude his trip on Friday with a rally in Nyamasheke District.

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