Dr. Frank Habineza Campaigns for Rwandan Presidency with Pledge for UN Compensation Fund

Frank Habineza

On Saturday, June 22, 2024, Dr. Frank Habineza, the presidential candidate for Rwanda’s Democratic Green Party of Rwanda (DGPR), commenced his campaign for the presidential elections. In his address to the Rwandan citizens, Dr. Habineza promised that, if elected, he would advocate for the establishment of a special compensation fund by the United Nations for the victims of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

The campaign event took place in Gasabo District, Jabana Sector, Bweramvura Cell, Gitega Village. Scheduled to start at 2:00 PM, the event began 20 minutes late. Shema Jonas, the Executive Secretary of Jabana Sector, welcomed the attendees and declared the campaign activities officially open.

In his speech, Dr. Habineza emphasized, “We aim to request the United Nations to establish a special compensation fund for Rwanda because of the genocide against the Tutsi.” He highlighted the role of the international community and the UN in the events surrounding the genocide and pointed out the lack of a mechanism for compensation for the survivors. Dr. Habineza noted that while the UN set up a fund to support Israel and the United States and Germany provide annual financial support to Israel, Rwanda deserves similar support through a ‘Genocide Special Fund for Rwanda’ managed by the UN Security Council.

Dr. Habineza proposed that the compensation funds could be used for various developmental projects in Rwanda, including the construction of infrastructure such as roads and hospitals. He revisited promises made during his 2017 presidential campaign, acknowledging the progress despite not being elected. The DGPR’s manifesto includes eliminating land taxes permanently, ensuring food security by providing three meals a day for every Rwandan, and promoting agricultural development to reduce food imports.

He also addressed issues in the justice system, criticizing the lengthy pre-trial detentions and proposing reforms to reduce prison overcrowding. Dr. Habineza pledged to tackle unemployment, particularly among the youth, by establishing small-scale industries in every sector of Rwanda. This initiative aims to create 500,000 jobs annually, providing employment opportunities for both educated and uneducated individuals.

In addition to Dr. Habineza’s presidential candidacy, the DGPR has fielded 50 parliamentary candidates, with a nearly equal gender representation—26 men and 24 women. Carine Maombi, the Vice President of the DGPR and a parliamentary candidate, assured Jabana residents that electing Dr. Habineza and supporting DGPR’s parliamentary candidates would result in a reduction of the value-added tax from 18% to 14%. This, she argued, would encourage more businesses to operate openly and pay taxes.

Maombi also mentioned plans to enhance the mining sector through technology, reducing chaos and increasing national wealth. She expressed confidence that these initiatives would be the foundation for the country’s economic growth.

Senator Alex Mugisha, another prominent DGPR member, spoke on environmental protection. He assured Jabana residents that under Dr. Habineza’s leadership, the DGPR would advocate for policies that would eliminate household waste fees, transferring the cost to the waste collectors who would recycle the waste into useful products like fertilizers.

The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda was founded in 2009 and officially recognized in 2013. In the 2017 presidential elections, the party’s candidate did not win. However, in 2018, the DGPR succeeded in securing two parliamentary seats, occupied by Senator Alex Mugisha and Dr. Frank Habineza, who have served for six years.

This year, Dr. Frank Habineza is competing against Paul Kagame of the RPF-Inkotanyi and independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana.