President Paul Kagame has been elected by his party, RPF-Inkotanyi as its flag-bearer in the 2024 presidential elections.

Over 2,000 party cadres met at the RPF-Inkotanyi headquarters in Rusororo, Kigali on Saturday, March 9 for an extraordinary congress to elect the party’s flag-bearers in the presidential and parliamentary elections slated for July.

The party’s list of flag-bearers will be shared with the Electoral Commission soon.

Kagame, 66, has been president of Rwanda since 2000. In 2017, he was re-elected to the office after claiming a land-slide victory of more than 98 percent of the vote.

At the same congress, the party secretariat presented a report on how their manifesto of 2017-2014 was implemented, in addition to adopting a new five-year manifesto on which the party candidates will campaign.

RPF’s Secretary General Wellars Gasamagera, said that over the past seven years, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the party managed to deliver on most of the promises made to Rwandans especially in the sphere of economic development and social welfare.

“Under the economic pillar, the past seven years saw a significant improvement. In 2019 before the Covid-19 outbreak our economy was growing at nine percent.

However, during the pandemic, we took measures to both cushion the devastating impact and also ensure steady recovery post-pandemic,” he noted.

Talking about infrastructure, he pointed out that the party managed to increase electricity connectivity, improved the road network and built world class sports complexes including BK Arena, Pele Stadium and Amahoro National Stadium which is under completion.

“We also built a state-of-the-art golf course,” he noted.

“We built more classrooms to reduce overcrowding and ensure Rwandan children make short distance to schools, built hospitals and medical facilities including global-scale medical research centres like IRCAD Africa,” he added.

He promised that in the next five years, the RPF will build on what it has achieved so far towards the national Vision 2050 that aims at achieving sustainable development and better quality of life for every Rwandan.

In addition, he noted that the RPF leadership will put much emphasis on continued improvement of road and air transportation with focus on green transport.

“Other areas of priority include leveraging AI for economic growth and boosting the quality of education,” he said.

Speaking during the congress, RPF’s Vice Chairperson Uwimana Consolée said it is a great moment to celebrate the achievements registered by the party over the past 30 years.

“For some of us, it evokes emotions drawn from our personal experiences. I also have a personal story of how I was repatriated from refuge in the jungles of the Congo by the RPF to become one of the senior party leaders today,” she noted.

“I want to thank you Chairman, as the Commander in Chief of our armed forces for saving our lives and giving it a purpose – that of building our nation. I am thanking you on my own behalf and on behalf of those who are not here with us today,” she added.

Acceptance speech

In his acceptance speech as the flagbearer, Kagame expressed gratitude to his party for entrusting him with the responsibility, as he hinted at the burden before him.

“The burden of responsibility to lead our country can be equated to a shock absorber against the challenges we face daily. It requires the right mind-set,” he said.

Monica Mbabazi

Monica Mbabazi is a celebrated multimedia Ugandan Journalist currently working as a news anchor on Top Radio and BTM Television. She is also a writer with Plus News Uganda.

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