HUYE — Students from Karongi District who are pursuing studies at the National University of Rwanda (NUR) have been asked to educate their parents about the process of fair elections during the September Parliamentary polls. Officials visited over 150 students from Karongi at NUR.
Jean-Damascene Sebukayire who oversees elections in the District and Landrada Umuraza, who is charged with Social affairs, told the varsity students that parents should be encouraged to vote basing on political manifestos.
“We are waiting for your contribution to come and teach Karongi residents that they shouldn’t vote people because they just share a drink with them,” Sebukayire told the students. The students were gathered at the Catholic Cathedral Guest House in Butare.
“Come and help us to teach civic education to our people.”
Sebukayire who is the agent of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) in Karongi said that the commission was already sensitising conferences with residents in the district to enable them conduct transparent elections. He said that the students at universities stood more chances to make the sensitisation more effective.
“They (students) are the intellectuals that we have and they can create attention to the people when they deliver a message more than any other person can in the district,” he said. The elections are slated for the 15th September 2008.
Karongi vice Mayor for Social affairs told the students that well conducted elections are crucial for the country’s progress.
“No country can develop without transparent and fair elections,” Umuraza said.
As the students who are now organized in an association called Karongi University Students Association (KUSA) listened to their authorities, sensitization of the residents on the election process sounded a great project to add on more others they have.
“We will help in the election process because it is in line with our plans to mobilize citizens on the government’s policy,” said Augustin Murigande who leads KUSA.
Murigande is a first-year student in Political Sciences who remains convinced that students are the best messengers to use in government’s programmes.
“We feel we are the country’s strength,” he said.
“We can easily convey whatever messages we believe in to our parents and relatives.” Another member of KUSA wants to help the villagers back home to feel confident when they vote.
“We can help people in our neighborhood to feel free while in elections and to vote leaders with a vision” said Celestine Imanishimwe who is a first-year History student.
The students also want to help in sensitising Karongi residents on family planning, the current green revolution in agriculture, and fighting the genocide ideology.