By Vision reporter
PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni while participating in a mandatory community work fest (Umuganda) in Rwanda pledged $300,000 (about sh777m) to a Rwandan primary school.
Museveni, who is on a four-day
state visit to Rwanda, was
accompanied to Nalukunga Primary School by the Rwandan president Paul Kagame.
President Museveni laid three bricks on the foundation of a building under construction at the school.
He asked: “Why should you give me only three bricks to lay on this important work?”
I wanted to lay more bricks and continue working with you today on this project. Alternatively, let me make a financial contribution to this project, since you have given me little work to do today,” he continued.
The school is situated in the suburbs of Kigali in Kanombe zone, and residents were constructing a new building for the school.
The Umuganda takes place on the last Saturday of the month from 7:00am to noon. It is a Rwandan tradition that dates back to long before colonial times. During Umuganda, which literally means ‘contribution’, every able-bodied person aged 18 and above participates in the unpaid communal work sessions. Businesses close and no public transport operates.
President Kagame revealed that the United Kingdom’s Conservative Party had also contributed to the development of the same school. President Museveni hailed Rwanda’s joint community work practice and said it was better than a situation where people wait for the Government to do all the work for them.
The President He added that this made the cost of doing things cheaper. Museveni said he was “extremely happy to meet and work with the ordinary people of Rwanda at the invitation of president Kagame”.
He pointed out that Rwanda’s method community work was a great solution to Africa’s poverty and underdevelopment.
“The problem in Uganda is that
people want to be paid for whatever they do; to an extent that some head teachers expel students for not paying school fees. Now, when students are expelled, how can be of value to the community?” he asked,
He said that in Uganda, the Government is paying attention to providing education that is why the universal primary and secondary education programmes were started. Museveni added that when his Government liberated the country, there were only 28,000 classrooms, which number has increased to 90,000.
The President, who was speaking in Kiswahili with the mixture of Kinyankore and Kinyarwanda, said he preferred using the local languages since he was among fellow Africans.
Museveni was accompanied on his official visit to Rwanda by the First Lady Janet Museveni alongside other ministers from the central government.
The President is scheduled to visit Kagame at his country home in Muhazi today (Sunday).
By Vision reporter