Video: We must remain true to who we are, Kagame tells Rwandans

Rwandans should remain focused on the task of building their country and not be distracted by those who may want to derail them from pursuing their legitimate aspirations, RPF-Inkotanyi presidential candidate Paul Kagame has said.
RPF-Inkotanyi's presidential candidate Paul Kagame addresses over 150,000 supporters at the campaign rally in Rulindo District yesterday. Courtesy.
RPF-Inkotanyi's presidential candidate Paul Kagame addresses over 150,000 supporters at the campaign rally in Rulindo District yesterday. Courtesy.

Rwandans should remain focused on the task of building their country and not be distracted by those who may want to derail them from pursuing their legitimate aspirations, RPF-Inkotanyi presidential candidate Paul Kagame has said.

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At least 150,000 people turned up for Kagame’s rally in Rulindo yesterday. Athan Tashobya.

The incumbent President was yesterday addressing thousands of supporters at a rally outside State de Kigali in Nyamirambo, Nyarugenge District, in City of Kigali.

 

“Whatever we do, we do it for ourselves, even this democratic process is designed to serve our best interests as a people,” Kagame said, adding that Rwandans are as good as anyone in nation building.

 

He said there is mutual trust between the people of Rwanda and himself, pledging to continue serving them to his best once handed another seven-year mandate.

 

“Let’s leverage our mutual trust for the common good and bring about even greater achievements.”

Kagame said voting for him on August 4 would signify a big step toward consolidating the country’s gains over the years.

The RPF Chairman urged Rwandans to be proud of who they are and their achievements over the years, saying “we should be proud of who we are and have confidence in our trajectory.”

“Recent trends have shown that even those who were questioning our values and choices are beginning to look in our direction,” added the President.

Kagame urged all Rwandans to seek to be the very best they can. He reiterated that RPF-Inkotanyi does not subscribe to ‘winner-takes-all’ politics, emphasising the need for all Rwandans to participate in the country’s transformation process.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day, the President addressed another rally in Rulindo District, where some estimates put the crowd at the rally in excess of 150,000.

“We should be happy about our accomplishments and remain committed to protect each one of them,” he said.

“We will continue to build a country in which our children will thrive and women have equal opportunities as men. We are a nation that leaves no one behind, we must all develop together.”

Kagame thanked the eight political parties that is backing RPF-Inkotanyi presidential bid, saying it demonstrates the spirit of unity, one of the pillars of the post-Genocide government.

“RPF politics is not about dividing or destroying. It is about transformation and rebuilding. RPF presented you its candidate and he’s not unknown to you,” Kagame said, drawing loud cheers and chants of “Niwowe, niwowe…” (It’s you…).”

We are writing new history of our country, he said. “We should build a country that both the current and future generations deserve.”

Opposition rally behind Kagame

Dr Vincent Birura, the president of Social Democratic Party (PSD), and Sheikh Musa Fazil Harerimana, the president of the Ideal Democratic Party (PDI), also addressed the rallies in Rulindo and Nyarugenge districts, respectively, urging their respective party members and Rwandans in general to vote for Kagame in next month’s polls.

Biruta, who hails from Rulindo, said his party chose to support Kagame because they believed in his capacity to lead Rwandans to a brighter future.

He said PSD and RPF, whose cooperation spans over 25 years, have a lot in common.

“RPF-Inkotanyi promotes unity, democracy, development, good governance and social welfare. These are the same values that PSD stands for,” said Biruta, who is also the Minister for Natural Resources.

The former Senate president added that PSD’s decision to back the RPF-Inkotanyi Chairman was cemented when millions of Rwandans successfully petitioned Parliament to amend the Constitution to remove legal barriers to Kagame standing for another term in office.

Biruta recalled the insecurity that rocked Rulindo in the late 1990s caused by genocidal insurgents that had crossed back into the country from DR Congo, and lauded the RPF-led government for restoring peace and security in the area and across the country.

The attackers were remnants of the Interahamwe militia and defeated army (ex-FAR) that fled the country after slaughtering more than a million people during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Kagame led the RPA liberation force that ended the killings.

Speaking from Nyamirambo in Nyarugenge during Kagame’s second rally of the day, Sheikh Harerimana, whose party became the first to call for constitutional amendment to allow Kagame to continue with the country’s stewardship beyond 2017, hailed the incumbent for having championed freedom for all citizens.

In particular, he said, the Muslim community in the Nyamirambo area will vote for the incumbent because they are direct beneficiaries of his leadership, having received full recognition just as any other believers under the Kagame administration.

“We now have equal rights as any other citizens, a far cry from the past.”

Harerimana described Kagame as a real freedom fighter and dubbed him “Baba wa Taifa” (Father of Nation), adding that he turned what was simply a country into a united nation.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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