It’s just days to the next parliamentary elections and PS-Imberakuri is looking for its first ever seat in parliament having contested and lost in the 2013 elections. The party fronted 36 candidates in the campaigns for the Chamber of Deputies.
The New Times’ Frederic Byumvuhore interviewed the party’s chairperson, Christine Mukabunani, on a wide-range issues, including their experience in this year’s campaigns as well as the party’s manifesto.
Below are excepts:
PS-Imberakuri is one of the contestants in this year’s parliamentary elections. Can you describe your party’s political agenda?
PS-Imberakuri is an opposition party. Our political programme includes highlighting some things that the Government has done wrongly among other things that remain unsolved. We also propose ideas. We openly speak out on what is not going well in the country about social welfare and then suggest solutions so that the country can achieve sustainable development.
How would you describe your experience throughout these campaigns so far?
Our party’s experience in this campaign is that we now see that the mindset of the population has changed compared to 2013. This is evident, through local leaders who welcome us everywhere we go (on rallies) except in some places where our posters are removed from public buildings. Fortunately, these cases are few. Another impressive thing is that, unlike in 2013, we are now given coverage by the public broadcaster, both on TV and Radio.
In 2013, PS-Imberakuri competed in parliamentary elections but won no seat. How did you receive the results, and what were the challenges?
We accepted the results and highlighted some challenges such as the (poor) mind set of some Rwandans towards our party. Also, local leaders seemed to be a barrier to our campaigns. But today, we see and appreciate improvement.
How confident are you about winning some seats in the Chamber of Deputies this time around?
This year, we expect to win because we started the preparations so early. We have managed to avoid challenges that we faced in 2013. We have done a lot to sell and explain our political programme to the public.
In your manifesto, you promise to improve the welfare of teachers by abolishing school fees for their children. How feasible is this?
About teachers’ welfare, our party proposes to raise their salaries based on trends on the labour market. They should be paid as their counterparts in the public sector who earn much more yet they have the same level of education. We also want to see teachers’ children not paying school fees, from nursery to university level. This is feasible because teachers contribute to the national budget. Therefore, they deserve such incentives.
Your party wants nursing school to be re-established at secondary level, what are the challenges you have discovered among the practitioners in the sector?
On the side of health, currently Rwandans are still facing challenges. Some patients die from hospital due to doctors’ mistakes. Some of the doctors are unprofessional. The school would improve their performance as well as save the lives of people. They will also grow up learning professional deontology.
Your manifesto mentions that health insurance scheme (Mutuelle de Santé) services should allow beneficiaries to access medicine from pharmacies at low prices...
Health insurance has to work with pharmacies because people with this kind of insurance use it with the assistance of doctors, but patients have difficulties while buying medicine from pharmacies since they are obliged to pay one hundred per cent. This is very expensive for patients.
What’s your parting shot to the electorate?
We request all voters to choose PS-Imberakuri. We represents the voice of the people.