President Paul Kagame yesterday urged thousands of RPF supporters in Gisagara District to vote for him in the forthcoming presidential elections so he can continue to work with them to fast-track the country’s development process.
The RPF candidate’s last leg of Day Two of the presidential campaign was at the district’s headquarters yesterday afternoon where several thousands of supporters gathered to welcome him and pledge their support in the elections.
The RPF flag bearer invited his supporters to work with him towards the common goal of fast developing their country and further improving their lives.
“Nothing is possible without us working together. We will achieve what we want by combining our efforts.
He pledged to bring the much-needed infrastructure to the district, including more electricity, better hospitals and schools, as well as developing local food processing industries to boost the area’s economy.
“For us 22 per cent of electricity connection (in Gisagara District) is not good enough. We want to achieve at least 90 per cent and more,” Kagame said drawing cheers from the the thousands of supporters.
He thanked all Rwandans who have been working with the RPF to develop the country, especially the eight political parties that have supported him in the on-going campaign.
“The process of building a new Rwanda over the last 23 years should continue with the RPF working with all Rwandans and other political parties that have chosen to work with the RPF. We are all aiming to achieve the same goals,” he said.
RPF’s manifesto in the on-going presidential campaigns has focused on the party’s plans to strengthen the economy, social welfare, and good governance as well as justice in the next seven years.
Many voters in Gisagara said they trust the party plans to be implemented given the track record and what the current government has done so far for them.
Local poet in Gisagara, Venuste Rutungura, praised Kagame for promoting reconciliation and good governance in the country, mentioning community-based health insurance known as Mutuelle de Sante, education for all, and cows for the poor among the excellent policies by the incumbent’s government.
“For all of those reasons we will vote for him,” Rutungura said as fellow residents in Gisagara cheered in agreement.
Many of them agree with the poet, including Marie Christine Murebwayire, a 33-year-old farmer who lives in Gisagara’s Mamba sector.
“I’m ready to vote for him again and I support him 100 per cent. My choice for him to stay is so that he can keep governing us well and help us sustain what we have achieved,” she told The New Times.
Murebwayire said that once President Kagame is back in the office, her district will be assured of more development and she hopes the President will build an asphalt road in the district that connects the area with other parts of the country.
For young people in this remote district where residents are mostly farmers who mainly grow maize, rice, and beans, the bottom line for their wishes is for the RPF candidate to be able to advise and help them on how to behave when faced with the issue of unemployment.
One of them, 20-year old Jean Claude Nemeyimana who recently completed secondary school. He said that he has decided to vote for Kagame so he can benefit from his advice.
“My wish is that the president keeps providing us with security and also continues to guide us on the way we can develop ourselves and the country,” he said.
In Gisagara, voters are also pushing for the incumbent president to use his new mandate once elected to scale up efforts to connect more citizens to reliable electricity and water.
Raphael Havugimana, a 58-year-old father of two children, said that his choice in the forthcoming presidential elections is obvious because he credits Kagame with the ability to unify Rwandans and also relate with the vulnerable and poor.
“Paul Kagame is always in my heart. He is the best. He took Rwanda out of darkness by bringing us unity and reconciliation. In the past we used to live with divisions but today a Rwandan is a Rwandan, period.,” he said.
Havugimana also lauds Kagame for initiating pro-poor policies such as the government’s one-cow-per-family programme (girinka) and finding the poor decent homes in collective settlements locally called imidugudu.
Over the past seven years, some 7,564 households in Gisagara district were given cows through the girinka programme and the ruling RPF-Inkotanyi would like to do more in this region once its candidate is back in the top office because social welfare is top on its campaign manifesto.
The party also wants to promote sustainable urbanisation, rural development, and housing for the improved wellbeing of Rwandans, all programmes that fit well with current concerns of Gisagara residents where Kagame concluded his journey on Day Two of the campaigns yesterday.
Today, he will continue on the campaign trail in the Southern Province with rallies in Nyamagabe, Huye, and Kamonyi districts.