‘It’s not good for a girl to go into politics’: Diane Shima Rwigara

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Diane Rwigara is vying for president in Rwanda’s August election. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA
  • “It took me time to make peace with the fact that I am a girl who loves politics. It is who I am, I cannot change it,” Diane said, adding; “I decided to go into politics because I felt that there was no politician in the country who was speaking on my behalf, or on behalf of many other Rwandans.”

“Most people link me to RNC because my maternal uncle Benjamin Rutabana is a known member, but that is a simplistic way of looking at things. I can’t belong to a group just because my relative belongs to it,” she said.

Her candidature has seemingly elicited support from the exiled groups, which share and circulate her stories, but for her that is not reason enough to label her as one of them.

Recently, a local tabloid, Rushyashya, reported that her campaign is bankrolled by exiled tycoon Tribert Ayabatwa Rujugiro, and the wife of Rwanda’s former ambassador to the UN Eugene Gasana.

Diane scoffs at the allegation. “I wish I had the kind of support they allege that I have,” she said adding that she finances her plans, albeit with difficultly, from her own pocket.

She said she is in business, but did not specify the kind of business.

Born in 1982, Diane went to Camp Kigali Primary School, and later joined Ecole Belge, an international school in Kigali. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the California State University, Sacramento, and a Master’s degree in Accounting from California State University, San Francisco.

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