Pomp and fanfare characterised the launch of Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) parliamentary campaigns in different districts on Tuesday.
In some areas the launch ceremony also attracted the European Union (EU) election observing Mission that is already in the country.
Members clad in black and white t-shirts, with RPF stickers, chanted party songs and expressed optimism in achieving victory in the September polls.
In Huye district, hundreds of party supporters brought business to a standstill in Butare town as they sang and danced their way to the district stadium for the ceremony.
At the stadium, dance groups from different Sectors of the district danced to party songs despite the sweltering early afternoon sunshine.
The district party chairman, Aimable Twagiramutara said that participating in parliamentary campaigns and elections is a celebration of democracy. He stated the party’s readiness to succeeding in the parliamentary elections.
“We ask you to support our candidates during the parliamentary elections and we are sure to win with your support,” said Twagiramutara.
Parliamentary candidates from the RPF-Inkontayi and two other candidates of PPC and PSR in the RPF led coalition were unveiled during the launch.
They include Innocent Kayitare, Abdallah Murenzi, Thacienne Dusabeyezu, all from the RPF and the other two candidates, Sylvie Mpongera of PSR and Jean Thierry Karemera PPC.
In Gicumbi, the RPF chairman in the Northern Province, Boniface Rucagu appealed to residents to vote for RPF candidates, saying they will have made a good choice.
Speaking at the launch of the party campaigns at Cyumba playground, Rucagu, who is also the provincial governor, said RPF has ushered a series of things which makes it the most authentic party.
“RPF has ushered in good governance, economic development, security and provision of education for all among many others,” Rucagu, flanked by district party candidates Beatrice Nirere, and Jean Marie Vianey Gatabazi told over 15,000 party supporters at the ceremony.
Bonane Nyangezi, the district party chairman said the party has ushered gender equality by empowering women to participate at all levels of government posts and political positions.
The party also eradicated all forms of social injustice in the Rwandan society and promoted a good foreign policy that has enabled Rwanda to shine internationally, he said. Songs and poems urging members to overwhelmingly vote for RPF characterized the event.
Meanwhile, in Musanze district hundreds of party faithful thronged Ubworoherane Stadium to kick-start the campaigns.
Speaking at the occasion, the district party chairperson, Celestin Karabayinga, said that the overwhelming turn up of the party members gives hope that the country was destined for a bright future, considering the past achievements of the party.
Karabayinga who is also the district Mayor cited booming tourism, economic transformation and self governance system as among the past achievements in the district.
Two nominated party candidates; Virginia Nikobahoze and Gideon Kayinamura were presented before party members who asked them to enumerate RPF past achievements and vision.
Kayinamula, who has been a member of the recently dissolved parliament, reaffirmed his party’s commitment to ensuring education for all, and extension of health services for all.
In Muhanga district, the launch also attracted a big number of residents at Gitarama Stadium. Aloysia Inyumba, an RPF commissioner officiated at the ceremony.
RPF candidates presented before chanting residents included: Béatrice Uwamariya, Sharon Tumusime, Alfred Gasana, and Jean Damascene Murara.
Other coalition party candidates Gonzague Rwigema (UDPR), and Clothilde Mukakarangwa (PDC) were presented before members.
Before the launching, party faithful and leaders clad in party colours took to the streets of Gitarama waving party flags as a sign of party loyalty and backing. Led by their leaders, they chanted party victory songs and called for massive participation in the upcoming polls.
“RPF is a party for all Rwandans and we should win the elections so that Rwandans can achieve democracy, peace, unity and development” Inyumba told the jovial crowd.
Inyumba also called on residents to exhibit discipline during the campaigns so as to have a free and fair election.
The RPF party parliamentary campaigns were officially launched on Monday August 25 by the party chairman President Paul Kagame at a ceremony held at Camp Kigali.
The coalition has 80 candidates. Campaign activities are expected to continue until September 13 to pave way for elections that will be held on September 15.
BY PAUL NTAMBARA, AMBROSE GAHENE, BONNY MUKOMBOZI and DANIEL SABIITI.