Rwanda: Tragic Accident at Kagame Campaign Rally in Huye

On June 27, 2024, a tragic accident occurred in Huye, Rwanda, resulting in the deaths of four individuals and injuries to several others. The victims were on their way to a campaign rally for Paul Kagame, the candidate for the ruling party, RPF-Inkotanyi. The incident happened at around 5 AM when a Toyota Coaster bus lost control and plowed into a crowd gathered for the rally in Matyazo cell, Ngoma sector, Huye district.

In his speech following the accident, Paul Kagame expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and emphasized the need for measures to reduce such accidents during campaign activities. He said, “Although accidents cannot be entirely prevented, it is imperative that we do everything possible to minimize them to ensure the safety of our people during these joyous events.”

According to ACP Rutikanga Boniface, the police spokesperson, the driver of the bus fled the scene immediately after the accident. The incident in Huye follows another tragic event the previous weekend in Rubavu district, western Rwanda, where two people died in a stampede during another campaign rally for Kagame. The Ministry of Local Government initially reported one fatality in Rubavu, but Kagame later stated that the number of deaths was likely two, stressing that even a single death in such circumstances is unacceptable.

The RPF-Inkotanyi party reported that over 300,000 people attended the Huye rally to support Kagame. However, reports from Rwanda indicate that such high attendance figures are often the result of coercion by local authorities. Residents are reportedly woken up in the middle of the night and instructed to attend the rallies, with non-compliance seen as an act of defiance against the government.