Kagame Speaks on Presidential Bid; Warns Against Complacency

President Kagame submitting his documents to the electoral body for reelection

Rwanda President Paul Kagame has reiterated his call for hard work to realise transformation of the country, adding, there is no room for negligence and laxity.

“We cannot celebrate and be complacent because of our progress,” said Kagame.

“Any minute we waste has consequences on where we want to be,” he added.

Kagame earlier this week presented his papers before the National Electoral Commission for his presidential bid.

This followed millions of petitions to Parliament in which Kagame’s countrymen asked him to stay around to steer the country to greater heights.

Kagame had hinted on not standing again for president, saying he could continue serving his country in other capacities.

His change of mind attracted mixed reactions from the public with some opposition figures and international activists condemning the move.

They said Kagame doesn’t respect human rights and that his longer stay in power was dangerous for the country whose democracy would have been strengthened by a peaceful transition of power.

But his supporters say Kagame, who led the RPF guerrillas that stopped the genocide in 1994 before overseeing the country’s delicate path to transformation, should be given another chance to continue leading Rwanda.


Appearing on Rwanda Television on Sunday, President Kagame said “where others can afford to walk, we must run. There is catching up to do.”

On seeking another term in office, Kagame said he couldn’t have asked for more, emphasising he was “happy to fight on with others who think it is worth it for the better of our country.”

Asked what he is most proud of, Kagame responded: “Being part of all that is happening and by accident of history, being the central part of it.”

On globalization, Kagame said the situation is “as if there are no rules, those who are stronger think they can do it their way and not think about those who are weaker.”

He added: “People have turned it into a zero sum game, for me to benefit,the other must lose. Why can’t we all benefit? What you call yours is not enough, you will always need others for trade. You need a market.”

In regard to upholding civil liberties, Kagame said, “if Rwandans are able to feed their family, hold their leaders accountable and have security..then to me Rwandans are free.”

Meanwhile, Kagame said there was nothing that frustrates him more than the slow pace of progress in some areas and sense of entitlement of some leaders.

Kagame said achieving change “starts with us, what do we do for ourselves and what do we do for others.”

Campaigns for president start on July 14.

Kagame has since accepted his nomination as the RPF flag bearer in the upcoming presidential elections.


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