AS CANDIDATES make final pitches ahead of Friday’s presidential elections, Frank Habineza, of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, has pledged to construct agro-processing plants to add value to various crops and boost income of farmers.
Habineza was yesterday campaigning in Burera District where he rallied the electorate at Gahunga site.
“Before I completed university, I carried out research from here; I also worked here for an environmental project to conserve the Virunga Park and its surroundings,” he said.
The presidential hopeful said he would work with neighbouring Uganda to jointly set up small processing plants in Burera.
“Through these plants, you will be able to process food and beverages so that you can sell processed products to Uganda as well as Goma (in DR Congo) as it is not far from here,” he said.
He said he will also develop community trading centres by connecting more households to electricity to enable them start small-scale business ventures.
“Today, we celebrate Harvest Day by eating sorghum bread and drinking its beer. You are, however, not allowed to grow the crop because of the crop intensification programme. Our plan is to revise this policy so that you have the right to grow whatever you want,” he said.
Habineza said the area is endowed with medicinal plants, thanks to its rich biodiversity such as National Volcanoes Park as well as other forests, but that traditional medicine remains underutilised.
“We will promote traditional medicine, we have enough medicinal plants that traditional healers can use, God has given them skills to treat diseases but they can’t contribute as officials are against it, we use drugs from abroad and are not efficient, I will promote traditional medicine,” he said.
The opposition candidate said he will promote eco-tourism in the area to ensure the revenue sharing programme is effective.
Burera residents said they were happy to receive the candidate, just like other candidates, and were ready to cast their vote on Friday.
“All the candidates have been here and presented their manifesto to us, so we are ready to vote for a good leader on Election Day, “said Raphael Nduwimana, 47, from Gahunga Sector.
Three candidates are vying for the highest office in the land. Incumbent Paul Kagame, of RPF-Inkotanyi, is challenged by Habineza, and Philippe Mpayimana, an independent.
Habineza will today hold his final rally in Nyarugenge District in the City of Kigali.
Campaign activities are expected to stop at least 24 hours before the polling stations are opened across the country, according to the National Electoral Commission regulations.
The polling stations open on Friday August 4 at 7am.