KIGALI - Women candidates were the most vocal and drew the loudest applause from voters as the joint campaigns for Senate aspirants in the City of Kigali ended in Kicukiro District yesterday.
One of the nine candidates will, on September 26, be elected to represent the City of Kigali.
The campaigns looked to have gained momentum compared to those held in Gasabo and Nyarugenge previously, as some candidates attracted more interest from the electorate.
Stiff competition, however, seems to be between Consolata Mukabera and Jeanne d’Arc Gakuba, as they drew the most deafening round of applause during the 10-minute campaign stint allocated to each aspirant.
The joint campaigns were organised by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) to enable the candidates meet the voters at one location.
Mukabera, who holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration, said that if elected, she would advocate for more support to the agricultural sector to increase production as well as increased access to electricity and water.
Mukabera, a Councillor in Kigali City, vowed to fight for the rights of all, and advocate for the completion of the Kigali Master Plan to allow property developers to put up buildings, especially in Gahanga and Masaka.
Gahanga, according to the master plan, is listed as the future city centre of Kigali but the detailed physical design of the area is yet to be completed, thus shelving construction until its release.
“We commend the peace, unity and development the government has ensured today, but there is still need for advocacy to achieve the country’s targets,” she said.
Mukabera added that she would also advocate for the immediate relocation of the landfill in Kicukiro. The Nyanza-based landfill is scheduled to be relocated to Kigali Sector in Nyarugenge.
Gakuba, on her part, said that she would continue to fight the Genocide ideology and advocate for the unity of the Rwandan people.
“I have the will and ability to deliver effectively and I know the duties of a Senator. I will not fail you if you elect me to the Senate,” she said.
Gakuba, 51, the former Vice mayor in charge of Social Affairs in the City of Kigali, is one of the few local government leaders who completed their two terms in office.
She holds a Bachelors’ Degree in Geography and is said to be among the brains behind the Kigali Master Plan, the Agaseke project, which currently supports about 3,000 women and the city’s sanitation and hygiene project.
Rwanda’s former Ambassador to Burundi, Wellars Mukama, promised to fight poverty, advocate for further support to Umurenge SACCO to offer bigger loans and putting up of additional vocational institutes.
Only one, out of nine candidates contesting in Kigali, will be elected.
Others in the city race are Phoebe Kanyange, the President of the Party for Solidarity and Progress (PSP), Andre Gaparanyi Mutangana, Anathorie Mukabatsinda, Paul Mbaraga, Pacific Malonga and Andre Leon Uwimana.
Of the 26 representatives in the Senate, only 14 will be elected countrywide; eight will be nominated by the President while the name of four others would be forwarded by the Consultative Forum for Political Organisations (CFPO).
Two of those to be elected are representatives of public and private institutions of higher education, while others are provincial and Kigali city representatives in the Senate.
Two will be elected in the Northern Province while three will be elected from each of the other provinces.
58 candidates are contesting in the polls countrywide.
The Electoral Colleges at the provincial and Kigali level will be composed of district and sector councils while those representing universities will be composed of only permanent lecturers, who are Rwandan nationals registered in their respective institutions.
However, only three sector councillors; the Chairperson of the council, the Vice Chairperson and the Secretary from each of the 416 sectors in the country will cast their votes.
The President will, this year, nominate four Senators to replace those who were appointed in 2003 while CFPO will appoint two. Other senators appointed by the president and CFPO in 2004 will be replaced next year.
The Election results will be announced on October 4.