On the third day, President Paul Kagame continued his four-day citizen outreach on Saturday where he met a crowd of cheering citizens from Nyamasheke district in Western Province, a tourist destination on the shores of Lake Kivu.
It was a day of joy as the citizen reconnected with the president who last visited the district before the COVID-19 pandemic spread.
Kagame started sensitization on August 25 in the Southern and Western Province, where he always gives residents time to present their unresolved issues but also hear success stories.
So many success stories to share, so much so that the president always had to remind them to be brief, to get straight to the point.
At the same time, citizens brought before the president several grievances caused by unresolved issues which, however, the president said, could find solutions if all the institutions worked together.
In one of the cases in Nyamasheke, Anathole Muhizi, a demobilized soldier presented his land issue in which he bought a house in Kamonyi District, Southern Province before a notary.
He told the President that the buyer (an employee of the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) had an administrative problem in his work and that the bank “colluded with the land agents to prevent Muhizi from having the land title of his house”.
“You asked for the issue to be addressed in a previous outreach to Musanze, but when I followed up, some officials told me that maybe I would only succeed if I went there and prayed a lot. And if I don’t pray, does that mean I don’t have rights to my properties?” Muhizi asked.
President Kagame has requested the Minister of Local Government and National Police to resolve this issue within three days from Monday, August 29, 2022.
President Kagame has also asked residents with similar problems to address them to leaders, including one from a lady who for twenty years has not cultivated her land due to lack of land title since returning to Rwanda in 1995 .
Jeannette Mukanpfizi, a mother of three, also revealed that a Chinese man building the Huye-Rusizi highway damaged their homes with uncontrolled water flows in 2012.
“The problem has been brought to all levels but has not been resolved. Now we are homeless in Gisakura village and the children are not in school but on the streets,” she said.
“This issue needs to be resolved immediately…Don’t worry, they (the officials) will confront me too,” Kagame said, calming the tearful lady.
In another case, Aphrodis Misago told the Head of State that his maize farm had been attacked and damaged by monkeys in Nyungwe Park but that he had not been compensated by the authorities.
Kagame said that in general, people who entrench the park, when their crops are destroyed by animals, are not compensated but advised to create a buffer zone as a long-term solution.
Kagame said park managers should work with local authorities to find a lasting solution, to protect animals, the park and people’s property and lives.
Meanwhile, an Espérance Nyiransengimana brought to the attention of President Kagame his case in which a director of Karengera-TTC, who punished students by beating them in the middle of the night, resulting in his current physical disability.
The director beat us in unfair circumstances and to the point that he stepped on my back and broke it, which made me disabled,” said Nyiransengimana, who was in a wheelchair.
Kagame asked the mayor if anything had been done about the case, and Nyamasheke district mayor Appolonie Mukamasabo said the manager had been arrested and had also been prosecuted and brought to justice, but had been acquitted while the victim was in hospital for a year.
In response, the victim told Kagame that she had informed the leadership of her case, but she claimed that they had not listened to her concerns.
“Now they will listen to me,” President Kagame said, adding that since this matter is before the courts, Nyiransengimana deserves to be helped, treated well and also in real life so that she can continue to study. .
Reasons to be grateful
Despite these challenges, some messages of hope were shared by Eric Mugabe, a 33-year-old resident of Kirimbi sector, Karengera cell.
First a street child for nine years after the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in which he lost his family, he was arrested in the street by one of the neighborhood policemen.
“I explained to the police why I was on the street and one of the police listened to me and took me home and sent me back to school. Your Excellency the President, I am grateful to the Rwanda National Police,” Mugabe said.
Mugabe said on December 17, 2017 that he followed one of the President’s speeches asking young people to sit on the High Table.
Mugabe, who is now a university student at Kibogora Polytechnic, has since managed to secure Rwf 9 million to open a kindergarten (Hope Academy – with 90 students and paying health insurance for 30 residents) in the Kirimbi region and plans to move into the next phase two -primary section with plans to improve the special education program for children with disabilities.
He also plans to build a secondary school as he ventures into education.
President Kagame wished him good luck and advised him to seek support from the Ministry of Education and provincial authorities.
Judith Uwankwera, a mother of 4, also shared her success story as a businesswoman in Kagano sector, who after leaving the education sector opened a restaurant with barely 150,000 Frw.
The business has now grown to become the Ibigabiro Hotel, with a branch in Rutsiro district, 25 employees receiving 2 million rwf in salaries per month and spending 6 million rwf to buy food from the community each month.
To date, the business is worth between Rwf500-600 million and the owner says she is building a new facility worth Rwf2.6 billion which will employ 70 people.
“I achieved this thanks to your advice which encouraged me to invest,” Uwankwera said, asking for support from RDB, which the president said should be done to seek better management.