EDITORIAL: Register to vote and seize the chance to help shape your country’s future
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As the presidential campaigns enter Day IV, eligible Rwandans who haven’t yet registered to vote or wish to update their personal data on the voters’ register have only today to streamline things with the National Electoral Commission set to close the exercise at the stroke of midnight.
Besides registering online to participate in the August 3&4 polls, other activities include relocating one’s details from their former jurisdiction to their new locality by just a click on their mobile phone, correcting personal details such as name and ID number, among others.
While the physical verification exercise took place between May and June, the online process has been ongoing to facilitate as many Rwandans as possible – including those in the Diaspora – to cast their ballot come Election Day to help shape the future of their country.
As of last week, up to 6,888,592 Rwandans had registered to participate in the election, which incumbent President Paul Kagame is contesting having been fronted by his governing party RPF-Inkotanyi and eight other political parties, along with two other candidates, Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, and Philippe Mpayimana, a former journalist who’s standing as an independent.
Today, Rwanda is a far cry from the basket case it was 23 years ago when it was brought to its knees by a bloodthirsty killing machine that had presided over decades of extrajudicial killings, institutionalised discrimination and impunity.
Unity, security, rule of law, meritocracy have since been restored.
Rwandans have reason to pat themselves on the back.
This country and its people cannot afford to take their accomplishments for granted, nor can they rest on their laurels. The people of Rwanda know all too well what the absence of peace and visionary leaders mean. For, in our case, the consequences were fatal – over a long time.
Thankfully, today Rwandans have a chance to determine the direction their country takes. They can shape the future by taking it upon themselves to do the right things today. One of them – and one of the most cardinal roles – is to participate in the forthcoming poll. Every Rwandan needs to make their voice count come August 3 (Diaspora) and August 4. But, to do that, you need to ensure that you are duly registered and your personal details validated. Today is the last day to do that. In case you hadn’t made up your mind, please visit NEC website, www.nec.gov.rw, and register to cast your ballot.
Every Rwandan has a civic duty to help shape the future of their country and today you have an opportunity to do just that.