Rwanda: Put Citizens' Interests Before Self, RPF Senate Caucus Told

19 January 2020

François Ngarambe, the Secretary-General of the ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF-Inkotanyi), has told senators affiliated to the party to always put people's interests above their own.

Ngarambe was officially opening a one-day training for the members of the RPF caucus in the senate, which aimed at acquainting new senators with their role in the national transformation.

The training that took place on Sunday at the party headquarters in Rusororo, Gasabo District, was attended by 16 members of the caucus.

Majority of the senators joined the Upper Chamber three months ago, during the senatorial elections, representing different constituencies.

"Put forward the interests of people. Whenever you have an opportunity to serve, avoid at any cost to fall into the trap of conflict of interest," he said.

"Your interactions with the people should be able to give hope to the citizenry. Be candid with them whenever you get an opportunity to meet them in their communities," he added.

He also encouraged the senators to be well acquainted with the country's political dispensation that is underpinned by consensus-building.

"Ours is not a parliament where the legislature is going to throw rotten tomatoes at the executive," he noted.

The Secretary-General highlighted that senators are very important people entrusted to deliver on certain responsibilities.

"The most important responsibility is one: making sure that Rwandans develop and their lives transformed," he said.

"You must always be driven by the spirit to serve and fulfill those responsibilities. Much as you are free to speak and express your ideas, those ideas should always be aligned with the core principles we stand for as a party," he added.

Attitude is key

He also stressed that good attitude to deliver, coupled with a work ethic, is equally important.

He cautioned them against having a sense of self-importance, arguing that the should not spend much time emphasising their titles as "Honourable" but rather focus on what can change people's lives.

"In real sense, you are colleagues and what should consume our time is how much we deliver on the targets we have set out," he said.

While RPF has majority members in Senate, no member of the ruling RPF has ever led the chamber since its inception in 2003, and this is in the spirit of a dispensation built on power-sharing and inclusion.

The Senate is an important institution in Rwanda's current political dispensation.

Besides serving as a legislative arm of government - along with the Chamber of Deputies - the Senate is responsible for overseeing the respect of fundamental principles.

Espérance Nyirasafari, the Senate Vice-President and a member of the RPF, told the press that it is important to constantly train themselves of the responsibilities they hold.

"Such training help us to synchronise our legislative work with the values of RPF Inkotanyi which we represent," she noted.

The training also focused on the role of technology in enhancing the work of senators and among the speakers of the day was the Minister of ICT and Innovation, Paula Ingabire.

"We see many possibilities with technology. We can get citizen feedback instantly, we can consult them and they can easily access all the work of senators using technology," she said.


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