On Saturday December 31 2007, the country’s President and chairman of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF-Inkotanyi) Paul Kagame, addressed the party’s seventh congress. In his speech he is quoted by the media asserting the importance of party discipline.
One can safely say that the RPF has achieved a lot of heroic feats primarily due to the discipline which has been exhibited by its leadership and members at different historical moments in the twenty years of its existence. There are enormous strides it has made in Rwanda’s history as a party dedicated to the liberation of the Rwandan people.
The party-RPF has in the twenty years of its existence become one of Africa’s most progressive political organisations. One can state that it is high up there among other leading African liberation and progressive parties, like the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa, the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) of Tanzania and Frelimo of Mozambique.
One of the most important achievements of the Party was ending the 1994 Rwanda Genocide, whose perpetrators and executioners aimed at exterminating some of the Rwandan people. This was and remains a great milestone in the history of Rwanda and humanity at large.
Holding in mind the veracity of a crime like Genocide, carried out on a massive scale as was witnessed in Rwanda in 1994, it is no mean achievement that RPF could put it to an end a hundred days after it had begun. That was less than a decade after it had been transformed from the Rwanda Alliance for National Unity (RANU) which was mainly a Banyarwanda refugee’s welfare association.
RPF has led the country in the most exemplary manner one can imagine. It has taken the lead in fostering the unity and reconciliation of the Rwandan people. This is reflected in the government of national unity that was formed in the aftermath of the country’s liberation in July 1994.
This has gone on; even after the RPF won the last national elections, it went on to invite other political parties into government. This is yet another reflection of the magnanimous character of the party- RPF. It gives the party a high ground from where to continue providing leadership to the country.
In the recent past, the party has opened up channels of communication and engagement with other progressive parties on the African continent like the ANC. This has been done among others through the women leagues of both political parties. This clearly shows that the party leadership understands that the historical mission and destiny of all the peoples of Africa is a common one.
Thus clear leadership and a membership that is highly patriotic and disciplined, can enable a group of people determined to change society to achieve their national goals. The party has also managed to change society’s political outlook from the old fashioned colonial era to better modern politics. This is a revolution in the history of Rwanda.
However, it is important to highlight the fact that members of the party must stay on course. It is also important to note that a lot still has to be done. Whereas the party managed to lead Rwanda from bad leadership, it still has a mission to economically liberate and empower the Rwandan people.
Since it took over the country’s leadership, the party has done a lot to see to it that the people achieve economic well being and ultimately economic independence. A number of programs have been put in place to ensure that Rwanda develops economically.
This commitment to national development and economic emancipation is reflected in the Vision 2020 which is already being implemented by the RPF-led-government. What is important though at this historical point in time, is to stir up collective efforts to achieve national development goals. Total liberation of any country or society is achieved when people get out of poverty and no longer live in deplorable conditions. One can safely say that the people of Rwanda under the able leadership of RPF are on the high way towards reaching that end. All these achievements and the projected ones have been and will be possible because of the party leadership’s commitment to ensure that the core principles on which the foundation of the party was laid are upheld.