Gilbert Mwenedata, one of the four independent candidates in the ongoing parliamentary campaigns, says he would advocate for policies that help reduce the gap between the rich and the poor in part to enhance the reconciliation drive in the country.
Speaking at a news conference in Kigali on Wednesday, the father of three outlined three causes that he stands for.
They include what he calls full reconciliation, transparency, and values of the Rwandan community.
Mwenedata, who launched his political agenda in Kigali on Tuesday, attracting about 500 supporters, noted that one of the biggest challenges to reconciliation in Rwanda is the gap between the rich and the poor.
He recommends adopting laws and policies that would compel many Rwandans to regularly and adequately pay their taxes in order for the government to get more funds to help the country’s disadvantaged.
But the candidate would not advocate for any increment on the current levels of income and revenue taxes.
“We don’t need to increase taxes. What we need is to increase commitment in paying our taxes,” he said.
The 39-year old is a resident of Kimironko in Kigali’s Gasabo District.
Though he has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences and is pursuing a Master’s in Development Studies, Mwenedata has acquired extensive experience working in land use management projects with international and local organisations.
He strongly speaks out against corruption, homosexuality, abortion, and the devisive tendencies that led to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
He said that Rwandans need to include a reconciliation aspect in all the national policies.
In an interview with The New Times last week, he said that he had “strong conviction” that he will make it in Parliament.
Four other independent candidates, including Venuste Bizirema, Léonille Mutuyimana and Clovis Ganza are also competing for seats in the category of 53 openly contested seats in the parliamentary elections taking place on September 16.
They will need a minimum of 5 per cent of all the total votes from nearly the six million expected to vote by universal suffrage in order to be among the country’s next Members of Parliament.
No independent candidate has ever won a seat in the Chamber of Deputies since 2003 when the current Rwandan Constitution was promulgated.