President Kagame has urged Rwandans to demand services they need from his government instead of crossing borders in search of them.
The president was speaking at a ceremony to open a multi-billion franc model village in rural Horezo, Muhanga district in Rwanda’s Southern Province.
The housing project sits on 156 hectares with 25 units of four houses built as one to host 100 families. The Rwf18 billion ($21 million) model village also has a primary and secondary school, hospital and sporting facilities.
The village, which is also connected with electricity and water, was built by the Rwanda Defence Force under the Integrated Development Programme.
The fete was scheduled on July 4 to mark Rwanda’s Liberation Day – the day, 24 years ago, the Rwanda Patriotic Party (RPF-Inkotanyi) marched into the capital Kigali and ended the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
“Access to electricity, water and other services provided by the government is your right, you should hold us accountable and demand that we deliver. Do not accept to pay anyone a bribe, delivering and serving you is our duty,” President Kagame told the Muhanga district residents.
“We will try our best to provide what you want –schools, hospitals, water, and electricity. In fact, you should be asking us to provide these basic needs if we don’t provide them on time because it is your right to demand them.”
“For citizens that continue to travel long distances and cross borders to look for services, it is our responsibility to ensure that we do everything we can to be able to provide what you need near you,” he said.
The President’s remarks came in the wake of a wave of arrests of Rwandans in Uganda, the latest being on Monday.
Uganda authorities said they arrested 72 Rwandans for entering the country illegally. Twenty-six of them, women and children, were deported while 46 men were held in custody to be arraigned.
The Rwandans are reported to have crossed into Uganda in search of casual jobs.
“There is no border you can cross and get better services than what we can provide here, whether it is healthcare or education. We shouldn’t be crossing borders for any reason,” Kagame said.
He pledged that his government would “do whatever it takes to ensure that the reasons people cross borders are removed.”
“We will ensure that whatever services they are looking for can be obtained locally.”