Rwandan Presidential Election: Mpayimana Begins His Campaign Modestly

The independent presidential candidate, Philippe Mpayimana, launched his electoral campaign in the Kirehe district, telling citizens that his goal is not to defeat Kagame but to win the election.

He made this statement on Saturday, June 22, 2024, when he officially began his presidential campaign. The events started at the Munini football field, located in the village of Munini, Mahama sector, Kirehe district.

Mpayimana was scheduled to arrive at 10:00 AM, but he finally arrived at 1:00 PM, accompanied by his family, including his wife and two children. Upon arrival, he was welcomed by the Vice Mayor in charge of economic development of Kirehe, Modeste Nzirabatinya.

In the morning, when the campaign organizers arrived on site, no citizens were present. Until 12:30 PM, no citizens had arrived. However, when the candidate finally arrived, a few citizens gathered, mainly people appearing to live in modest conditions, along with curious children.

As soon as he began speaking, Mpayimana asked participants to observe a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the 1994 Tutsi genocide. After this minute, he thanked the Inkotanyi for ending the genocide and liberating the country, thus bringing security.

Mpayimana then presented the 50 measures he plans to implement to develop the country if elected. Among them, he plans to reduce redundant administrative structures to decrease public spending. In agriculture, he wants to prioritize agricultural production over housing construction.

He promised to improve Rwandans’ diet and enhance animal production. Mpayimana also wishes for embassies to become dialogue centers for Rwandans living abroad, including those labeled as dissidents, to contribute positively to the country.

He committed to increasing job opportunities by promoting professional brokerage work and developing tourism while reducing bank interest rates. Another of his proposals applauded by the audience is to transform land tenure into private ownership, allowing citizens to pay land taxes without renting their lands.

Mpayimana expressed his wish for the whole of Africa to adopt Rwanda’s approach of finding internal solutions to its problems. He also suggested that secondary school graduates receive six months of military training, with the option to continue in this career for those who wish.

He reiterated that his goal in this election is not to rival Kagame but to win the elections. “I am not looking to beat Kagame, no, I want to win the elections. On the field, everyone knows the other’s skills.”

Residents had the opportunity to ask questions. Speciose Munderere asked what new things Mpayimana was bringing, emphasizing that the current government has already made many progress, such as access to drinking water, electricity, security, and much more. “I want to know what you are bringing that is more than what Kagame has given us, something so new that we could say it transforms us.”

Jean Pierre Nkundimana asked Mpayimana about his plans to improve the health insurance system, explaining that the current system does not adequately cover medical expenses in major hospitals, leaving citizens to pay for many medications out of pocket.

Mpayimana responded that before starting his campaign, his team examined the current achievements and devised new ideas to continue improving Rwandans’ lives. Regarding health insurance, he proposed creating an insurance fund to help citizens increase their contributions, thus facilitating access to medical care without being burdened by medication costs.