Kagame Warns Leaders: There’s no Shortcut to Success

President Kagame says leaders will only reap from their sweat

President Kagame has challenged Rwandan leaders to evaluate their success basing on the change in the lives of the people.

“Put yourself in the shoes of our citizens. Would you be satisfied with health, approved education, security?” asked Kagame.

“Leadership is not an individual task; it is about how a leader works with others to achieve a common goal. The only measure of leadership is the number of citizens whose lives has improved.”

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The president spoke Friday during the Signing Ceremony of Performance Contracts with national leaders at Kigali Convention Center.

The tough warning comes just a few months after Kagame fired Health Minister Agnes Binagwaho over alleged corruption and incompetence.

Kagame is known for not mincing words when demanding results from government officials.

He today said failure in leadership is when “you choose to pursue your own interest and not the interests of the people you lead.”

He urged leaders learning from mistakes and apply lessons to improve their performance.

Performance contracts are used for accountability purposes and realizing common objectives.


Kagame also hit at critics, saying, “They make democracy amorphous, something with no shape or form that only someone else is entitled to define.”

He has previously come under criticism from human rights groups for suppressing dissent, a charge government vehemently denies.

“This Rwanda is ours, it is our house. It is not a house someone has lent to us. It is ours to work on and transform,” said Kagame.

“This Rwanda is ours. It was not given or lent to us. Freedom of ownership is indispensable,” he added.

He further pointed out that freedom is the opportunity that gives one hope that tomorrow one will stand tall.

“The first freedom is freedom from wishing for what you cannot afford, from not being able to feed or educate your children,” he added.

Kagame cautioned leaders against laxity which he said could slow down the country’s progress.

“You cannot sit back, pray and wish for success. You cannot reap what you have not worked for. We have seen what it takes to achieve progress. We have to be prepared to do what it takes, there is no shortcut,” he emphasised.


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