The RPF-Inkotanyi has pledged more progress and dignity for Rwandans as it reached out to voters ahead of the September 16 parliamentary elections.
Launching its campaign yesterday, the ruling party, running alongside four other political parties, said it seeks to consolidate the country’s gains under RPF leadership and to fast-track the national development agenda.
The party Chairman, President Paul Kagame, launched the RPF-led coalition legislative election campaign yesterday in Kamonyi District, Southern Province, in the presence of cheerful thousands of supporters.
The RPF’s coalition partners include the Ideal Democratic Party (PDI), Parti Socialiste Rwandais (PSR), Parti du Progrès et la Concorde (PPC) and Centrist Democratic Party (PDC).
Kagame promised that the party’s members will never let the country and the people of Rwanda down, reminding the public that the party has never failed to deliver on its promises.
“RPF has never expected to achieve anything on a silver platter,” he said, adding that the party has always worked hard in service of the nation.
“We have always and will continue to work hard to achieve our collective goals. We pledge development, electricity and water for all, as well as continuous improvement in healthcare and education.”
Kagame said the RPF-led government had helped lift a million Rwandans out of poverty in the past five years, and that it remained steadfast in its commitment to deliver prosperity.
And the audience couldn’t be more receptive.
Catherine Mukangwabije testified how RPF’s leadership had made it possible for her to become a multi-millionaire and a successful businesswoman, moving from just a Rwf8000-sack of rice in her shop to the current Rwf600 million worth of business assets.
“Women have all the reasons to rally behind you,” she said, appealing to Rwandans and women in particular, to vote for the RPF, which has drawn a list of 80 candidates, including eight from its coalition partners.
Simonia Nyandwi may be among the most vulnerable of Rwandan society.
Yet she was all praises of the RPF because of, among other things, the cow she received through Girinka, a government scheme through which more than 130,000 poor families have received free cows to work their way out of poverty.
“I now have milk and fertilisers for my garden thanks to the RPF’s pro-poor policy; I thank my President for all these good things. With the RPF at the helm I’m sure the best is yet to come,” she said.
Kagame said that RPF-Inkotanyi has always put the interest of the people of Rwanda first, and received a big applause from the crowd when he said that the party has earned a reputation of following through on its promises.
“The RPF has never been about words, but actions.”
“We are committed to bettering the lives of all Rwandans,” Kagame said. “RPF Inkotanyi stands for the dignity of all Rwandans and our ability to shape our future.”
And apparently it’s the promise of continued peace and development that has won RPF the heart of 54-year-old Drocella Niyonshuti, a survivor of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
“The peace and stability we now enjoy were brought about by the RPF. Previously, Rwandans had no say in whatever was being done in their name, yet today all that is in the past; our lives have changed for the better and the government has taught us to believe in ourselves and to work hard for a bright future,” she told The New Times as she left the rally.
All the party leaders of the RPF coalition parties also addressed the rally in Kamonyi.
PDI’s Sheikh Musa Fazil Harerimana, PPC’s Alvera Mukabaramba, Jean Baptiste Rucibigango of PSR and Agnès Mukabaranga of PDC all asked voters to ensure the RPF-led coalition carries the day come September 16 – as was the case five years ago.
The RPF-led coalition won majority seats in the 2008 parliamentary elections, taking 42 out of the 53 seats up for grabs.
Also in the running for this year’s elections are Social Democratic Party (PSD), Liberal Party (PL) and Social Party (PS-Imberakuri), which is contesting for the first time.
Four independent candidates are also standing.
The campaigns will run for a period of 21 days.
Elections for the 53 openly contested seats are scheduled for September 16, while those for representatives of the youth (two seats) and the disabled (one) will be held on September 17, and women (24) on September 18.