URUGWIRO VILLAGE - With a few months to the end of his seven-year mandate, President Paul Kagame yesterday declared that what was pledged at the beginning of his term has been largely achieved.
Kagame made these remarks during a monthly press conference that was held at Urugwiro Village in Kacyiru.
Without going into details, Kagame said that what he promised Rwandans within his manifesto was largely accomplished and the few remaining issues were in the implementation phase.
He called upon all Rwandans and concerned authorities to guarantee a peaceful and secure environment during the forthcoming Presidential elections slated for August.
Citing the country’s ambitious growth targets, Kagame said that elections should not halt business but Rwandans should rather be able to engage in the electoral process at the same time continue working without disruption.
“Things may vary, but the constant thing here is that there should be peace, stability and security that will allow Rwandans to freely and fairly express themselves as to who they want to be their leader or leaders.”
“We should however be able to go for elections without necessarily bringing the life of the country to a halt. People ought to go on with other activities in the sectors and let elections be a normal process. It is complex to manage the two, but we should go on with our lives and obligations,” Kagame said.
On the issue of whether or not he will stand for a new mandate, the President said that the final decision rests with his party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).
“As you will understand, I have been serving for this last mandate and we are going into the second term. Normally, I should be able to continue for the duty and service I owe my country. There is however nothing automatic about whether the party will elect me or not,” he said.
In the event that he gets elected again, Kagame said that he will continue implementing the vision of transforming Rwanda into a self-sustaining economy and ensure that institutions are strengthened to deliver on their mandate, especially attaining the Vision 2020.
“If and when the government I lead continues to the next mandate, we will continue this progress of the work we started so that at least by the end of the next mandate in 2017, three years to the vision target, we should have attained what we needed to achieve”.
Kagame warned politicians who have been using rhetoric considered by many as ‘divisive and revisionist’, that the law is clear and will not favour anyone.
“The law is very clear. Whoever tries to act in contradiction to what the laws say, will not be given room,” the President said.
He said that Rwanda is a country governed by laws and respects people’s rights, but will not tolerate anyone undermining the stability and harmony Rwandans enjoy today.
In the wake of a new relationship between France and Rwanda, the President explained that it is the desire of Rwanda to relate well with her neighbours and other countries globally for various mutual benefits.
“The improved relationship between Rwanda and France helps to address problems that have existed over the years. We think it may facilitate dealing with the question of genocide suspects. It provides a dialogue of communication thus answering many questions that remain unanswered,” the President said.
“This relationship also addresses many issues as such as socio and economic development as well as trade and investment,” he noted.
However, the President said that the documentation of various events that have happened in the past is supposed to be independent of the relationship Rwanda has with France.
“These documents provide lessons and relate to events that have happened here, and the individuals involved. The relationship with other countries is therefore a different issue.”
Kagame responded to numerous questions in the areas of justice, education, agriculture, social well-being of Rwandans as well as performance of the economy.