At exactly 12:30pm yesterday, President Paul Kagame arrived at the National Electoral Commission (NEC) to present his presidential candidature papers as the Rwandan Patriotic Front nominee for the August Election.
Kagame was joined by RPF members who came in numbers to show support for their candidate. Before proceeding to meet with electoral commission officials, Kagame greeted the hundreds of supporters who were gathered outside the Commission offices.
Following the presentation of his candidature, President Kagame addressed members of the local, regional and international media.
Speaking on the progress in the last seven years, Kagame said during his tenure, Rwanda has managed to efficiently use the resources the country has at its disposal to successfully drive the development agenda.
“We have achieved more than our means suggest, we have stretched ourselves to the extreme limits,” he said.
“And, here I am comparing ourselves with just ourselves—things that were at our disposal—and not other people.”
Sharing key priorities in the coming years should he be elected, Kagame mentioned improving rural electrification, health sector, education, and general socio-economic transformation of the Rwandan people.
He also reiterated his intention to continue pushing for a transparent and accountable government, which he said are the main pillars of achieving the desired socio-economic growth of citizens.
“I want a Rwanda that has its people united, free and enjoying prosperity,” Kagame said, sharing his vision for the future of Rwanda.
Kagame also reiterated his message to the youth to get involved in politics.
“There is no way you can say I will be doing something on my own that will have nothing to do with politics. Politics will have something to do with you, so you better have something to do with politics,” Kagame emphasised.
“Choose how to get involved. I am not telling you how, I can only urge you to get involved in politics, and in good politics.”
‘Sense of entitlement’
While encouraging youth participation, President Kagame cautioned against any sense of entitlement.
“There is false sense of entitlement, the sense that they are not doing things because someone has not prepared the ground for them to walk comfortably. To be a leader, stop having a sense of entitlement that someone, somewhere, all the time, owes you,” Kagame said.
Asked about his state of mind as he accepted to the call of citizens to run for another term, President Kagame described leadership as a heavy weight made easier to carry by citizens.
“Carrying the weight of leadership is not easy. But what we want to achieve together is bigger than any individual. The role each citizen plays in achieving our goals make the burden of leadership lighter to carry,” he said.
“Leaders and citizens need each other. The trust between leaders and citizens is the reason we have been able to achieve progress,” Kagame added.
It is this desire and commitment to see ordinary Rwandans prosper that has continually earned him massive support countrywide.
In the last election, President Kagame won with landslide victory, 93 per cent of the vote.
Kagame was the sixth presidential aspirant to present his nomination papers.
NEC is expected to announce the final list of qualified presidential candidates on July 7. Campaigns will officially start on July 14 until August 3.