GASABO - President Paul Kagame was yesterday overwhelmingly re- elected as Chairman of the RPF political party to serve a four year mandate.
The only candidate challenging President Kagame for the top party seat was East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) member, Abdul Kharim Harelimana who managed to garner less than 2 percent of the total cast votes.
At the same delegates’ congress that attracted over 2,800 party members, Christophe Bazivamo was voted Vice Chairman of the party and François Ngarambe as the Secretary General. The two stood unopposed.
The party congress also elected a twelve-member team of Commissioners who will each be in charge of different commissions within RPF structures.
While opening the Congress, President Paul Kagame and Chairman of RPF commended party members for working tirelessly to fulfill the mandate promised to the Rwandan people by the party.
As a party in government, he said that RPF had made Rwandans regain their value and reputation and that the country was emerging on the world stage for its good acts, unlike in the past.
“It is now that we, Rwandans, have the value we deserve---we design our own solutions that are seen and appreciated by everyone. You go to China, Europe, US, Australia---Rwanda is known and known today, for its good acts.”
“This did not come out of the blue—it came from the devotion and hard work of you the RPF members and our other colleagues in government, working jointly for transformation of our country.”
The President reminded RPF members that they have a responsibility to contribute to greater national building, adding that what the country has gained in the past indicates that a lot can still be achieved.
The party chairman said that RPF welcomes competitive politics, saying that at the end, the Rwandan population stands more to benefit since every party competes to bring better services to the people.
Kagame poured scorn on the frequently used idiom that ‘politics is a game,’ saying it gave a wrong interpretation of a serious obligation.
“Politics is not a game. Politics is a serious undertaking because if you treat it as a game, it loses meaning,” he said.
He said while the country had achieved a lot, the journey to meaningful transformation remains long. He singled out vices such as corruption, injustice and divisionism as evil acts that should never define a genuine RPF member.
“Those who subscribe to these vices are not part of the RPF---they are part of some other groupings because these acts are contrary to our doctrines,” the Party chairman said.
“RPF’s identity is hard work---hard work that aims at uplifting the lives of the Rwandan people and RPF members must always strive to achieve this.”
Kagame castigated some members who misuse party resources and repeated his stern warning that corrupt individuals must be held accountable.
During the meeting, Ngarambe read out the party’s progressive report which called on delegates to double efforts in their different responsibilities that include sensitizing the population on government’s programs.
He singled out achievements in the social, economic and political sectors and laid out pressing issues that must be addressed in the coming year.
The Congress also attracted different heads of Political parties in Rwanda and top independent government officials who all commended the President for his visionary political leadership and wished to have him as a candidate for next year’s presidential polls.
As party Chairman, Kagame does not automatically become the party’s flag bearer for the presidential elections. The party will again seat to choose a candidate for next year’s presidential polls.
Notable among those elected as commissioners with the RPF include; Adbul Kharim Harelimana, Tito Rutaremara, Charles Murigande, Aloysea Inyumba, Domitalla Mukanaganzwa, Chrysologue Karangwa and Musoni James.