Incumbent presidential candidate Paul Kagame yesterday concluded his campaigns in Eastern Province with a rally in Rwamagana District.
“Where we are today and where we want to be is what Rwandans deserve,” he said, urging the voters to stay the country’s current development course through the upcoming election.
He urged citizens to stay united and focused on development activities for their daily lives.
“Given our country’s historical context, building our country requires an unconventional approach. The foundation of our uniqueness is the ability to work together, stay united, and the determination of Rwandans to develop their country,” he said.
“There is a lot that has been achieved and there is a lot we want to achieve. August 4 gives us a chance to make another step towards our development. Achieving development requires everyone’s efforts; the youth, women, men, and senior citizens.”
Among other policies, he pledged to keep fighting malnutrition in the country and promote universal access to education as well as security for all citizens and their unity to fast-track their prosperity.
“People are the most important foundation of Rwanda’s development. We value all citizens equally: men, women, youth and the elderly,” he said.
Kagame’s campaign in the district was held in Kigabiro Sector’s Rusave Village that surrounds Rwamagana town.
The candidate was welcomed here with much splendour and extensively lauded for both having stopped the genocide and led the country to development.
Why ‘Kagame is still the man’
Agnes Mukabaranga, a native of Rwamagana, who also heads the Centrist Democratic Party (PDC), one of eight opposition parties that are backing RPF-Inkotanyi in the presidential election, welcomed Kagame at the rally as a hero who saved many lives in the area.
She said Kagame’s RPA fighters intervened very fast to save so many Tutsi refugees in Rwamagana in the early days of the three-month slaughter against the Tutsi in 1994.
“During times of election, we as Rwamagana natives always get an opportunity to thank you because you saved our lives. You intervened very fast in the middle of the genocide to save us from the killers and you took good care of the refugees,” she told the RPF candidate.
Mukabaranga urged voters in the district to vote for Kagame, describing the incumbent President as a “good leader who deserves the support of all citizens.”
Thousands of supporters gathered here also welcomed the candidate with songs that lauded his governance style as they proudly waved RPF’s flags.
Many of them expect the president to maintain the government’s pro-people policies such as the provision of education for all the country’s children, develop needed public infrastructure like roads, and help the poor and vulnerable such as the elderly and people living with disabilities.
Annonciata Nyirabagande, a 47-year-old mother of two who also takes care of her disabled mother, said she wants President Kagame to further promote education and extend government support to vulnerable people such as the elderly and those living with disabilities.
“Our children who graduate from secondary schools should be more supported so they can join universities or TVET schools after graduation,” she told The New Times as she waited for the RPF candidate to campaign in Rwamagana yesterday.
Among the reasons Nyirabagande wants to vote for Kagame in the forthcoming presidential election include her appreciation of the Government’s Girinka programme that has distributed cows to the people as well as his ability to guarantee security for all Rwandans.
“The distribution of cows has helped fight malnutrition and improved agricultural production because cows produce enough manure. The initiative should continue in the next term,” she said.
As for Edouard Nyabutsitsi, a 54-year-old tailor based in the district, the incumbent president has done very well to promote universal access to education and developed essential infrastructure like roads, efforts that he encourages him to continue in the next seven years once he is back in the office.
“Every child is in school today and that’s something we should appreciate,” he said.
But Nyabutsitsi encouraged the RPF candidate to further promote handicrafts in the country because artists make a massive industry that can produce so many goods that the people need if well promoted.
One way he believes the artists can be promoted is to group them into cooperatives, which the government can support and encourage producing goods for targeted markets like schools.
“He should keep encouraging us to work in cooperatives so we can work in a more organised way and make more profits,” he said.
Overall, Nyabutsitsi who is a father of seven children said that he will vote for Kagame because he has done very well during his term in office for the past few years and what he needs is to keep doing what he has been doing.
Kagame, who campaigned in Rwamagana yesterday after holding two other rallies in Kirehe and Ngoma districts, will resume tomorrow with rallies in Northern Province’s Musanze District as well as Western Province’s Nyabihu and Rubavu districts.