Rwandans will choose their own path, says Kagame


RWANDA– RPF-Inkotanyi presidential candidate Paul Kagame has told voters in Gicumbi District that his government will not let them down once voted back in the top office, pledging to further develop the region and the entire country once he wins Friday’s poll.

Campaigning in Rutare Sector yesterday, Kagame said that residents in Gicumbi helped the RPF during the liberation struggle and have since the end of the war, joined in the process to build the country towards prosperity.


Residents of Gicumba were excited to receive Kagame, who spent years in the area during his days as the commander of the former RPA rebel force in 1990s. Courtesy.

Rutare was the second rally that he held in Gicumbi District, having been in Cyumba Sector earlier in the day.

“We will not betray the trust you have, placed in us with your support,” he told about 200,000 people at the rally as he promised them to bring more development to their area.


RPF-Inkotanyi Vice Chairman Christophe Bazivamo, who hails from Gicumbi District, campaigns for Kagame in Cyumba Sector yesterday. Courtesy.

He pledged to provide more water and electricity connection to citizens, more opportunities for businesses and the youth, build more hospitals, improve infrastructure, and nurture good governance where leaders are accountable to citizens.

“It is important to sustain what we have achieved and also build much more,” he said.

He added: “You made the right choice to support RPF. It started the war as a small party and won. It also went ahead to grow bigger as it also built the country up.”


Senator Dr Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo was among the senior members of PSD that accompanied RPF-Inkotanyi’s flag bearer Paul Kagame on his last campaign rallies outside the capital Kigali yesterday. PSD, along with seven other opposition political parties, are backing Kagame’s re-election bid. Courtesy.

He urged all citizens and residents in the district to keep working together, emphasising that, without unity, Rwandans can’t achieve their development goals.

“You know what happened when Rwandans lost their unity. That’s why the country’s policy today is about working together. That’s why political parties choose to work together and have endorsed the RPF candidate,” he said.

Challenging those who have criticised Rwanda’s elections, Kagame called on citizens to continue striving for what is best for the country’s transformation.

“This is about making our own choices. We do not claim to know what is best for others but we will choose the path that is best for us. We are not looking for people to feed us, we are looking to make our own living and feed ourselves,” Kagame said.


Like elsewhere in the country, Kagame’s rallies in Gicumbi attracted mammoth crowds. Courtesy.

“For too long, Africa has been seen as deserving of charity and not prosperity and self reliance,” he added, urging citizens to work towards ending this cycle.

Welcoming him in Rutare, MP Jean Marie Vianney Gatabazi, who hails from the district, praised the incumbent president for having led an army that stopped the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and steered the country to development.

Joyous voters

Cheerful residents welcomed the candidate at Rutare playground in Rutare Sector, singing and dancing as they lauded his policies and pledged their support to him in the August 4 poll.

Among other things, they credit him for ensuring security in their communities, connecting them to electricity, donating cows to the poor in order to fight malnutrition, mobilising citizens to work hard, improving the agriculture sector, and providing health insurance for all.

“The fact that we are safe in our neighbourhoods and have Mutuelle (community-based health insurance) is enough for us to live happily and that’s why we will vote for Paul Kagame,” said 27-year-old Florence Nyirakuradusenge.

“He really inspires us to work hard. I trust him; what we have seen him doing is greater than what remains to be done,” she said, also indicating that more people in the district still need access to water and electricity.

Many other residents in Rutare also told The New Times that they want to vote for Kagame because they believe he will bring them more development.

“Let him serve another term because we are likely to be surprised by how much more he will do for us. Even those who are campaigning against him in this election talk about his good policies,” said 66-year-old Faustin Kalisa.

Consolata Mukandanga concurred with Kalisa, saying that the incumbent president deserves all support because he stopped the Genocide and took good care of all citizens in its aftermath.

Kagame will today conclude the 19-day countrywide presidential campaign in Gasabo District, meeting city residents in Bumbogo Sector.

©The New Times