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Kagame promises inclusive development as electoral campaigns kick off

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Incumbent President Paul Kagame, the Chairman and flagbearer of RPF-Inkotanyi and allied parties, on Saturday, June 22, urged Rwandans to continue committing to a policy that seeks development leaving no one behind.

 

This was at the kick-off of the coalition’s election campaign at University of Rwanda’s campus in Busogo, Musanze District, where thousands of people from Musanze, Burera, Gicumbi, Nyabihu, and Rulindo districts gathered.

Residents of Musanze and neighbouring districts started their journey to the site in the wee hours of June 22. They were cheerful as they sang various campaign songs by Rwandan artistes while waiting for to hear from Kagame.

The RPF-led coalition of eight parties will hold a three-week campaign trail across 19 venues in the country to canvass for votes in the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections set for July 14-15.

 

Addressing the crowd, Kagame noted that Rwandans experienced dark moments since the colonial times and therefore living in a way they didn’t deserve, until 30 years ago.

He said that the ideological orientation that RPF is pushing forward seeks to change the livelihoods of Rwandans to live the best of their lives.

“This derives from the need to change the course of our history and transform livelihoods. In simple words, RPF is that history, the zeal to change it and our uniqueness.”

He added that the question should be; who changes the history and how does it change, pointing out that it is the people.

 

The New Times

While democracy is often a controversial concept because of some people’s perspectives, he said, for Rwandans, it is about having the choice and freedom to choose what works for them, and for their own reality.

“This is how it should be understood here and elsewhere where it [democracy] supposedly originates from. They also don’t have the right to choose for others.”

‘Happy to lead Rwandans’

Kagame said that “there is nothing good as being a Rwandan and, to top it all, there is nothing better than being your leader because it is easy being so.”

This, he said, is because the citizens help the leaders they choose to fulfil their responsibilities and through collaboration, find solutions to any difficult situation.

 

Talking about the upcoming elections, the incumbent President told the party members and allied groups that they didn’t endorse him to forsake him halfway.

“Every responsibility you gave me over the past years, you’ve helped me in fulfilling them and whatever is pending we have a shared responsibility in it. We have an agreement of meeting our development obligations ahead.”

He noted that in this presidential and parliamentary elections, Rwandans should cast votes knowing that they are doing this for themselves and regard it as a choice and renewal of commitment of doing everything possible that leads towards development.

“Once the elections are over, the goal is to go back to actions, doing what we are supposed to do collaboratively and promoting unity among Rwandans. And development shall follow as guaranteed.”

In the last elections of 2017, RPF collected 16,350 voters equivalent to 98.84 percent of residents from Musanze District.

Under the current constitution that transitioned from a seven-year to a five-year presidency cycle, Kagame is competing with two challengers: Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, and Philippe Mpayimana, an independent candidate.

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