Rwandan Presidential Election: Those Who Want to Harm Rwanda Are Not God – Paul Kagame

On Saturday, June 22, 2024, in Musanze District, Busogo Sector, Northern Province, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF-Inkotanyi) candidate, Paul Kagame, addressed a rally marking the launch of his campaign. In his speech, Kagame emphasized the unique resilience of Rwandans, referencing their tumultuous history and the significant progress they have made. He urged Rwandans not to be intimidated by those who slander or plot against Rwanda, asserting that these detractors are not omnipotent.

Kagame stated, “Rwandans have a unique strength. Considering our past and where we are now, it is clear that substantial changes have been made. We should not be afraid of those who defame Rwanda or those who wish to harm it.” He underscored the importance of self-reliance and the collective responsibility of Rwandans in shaping their future, particularly in the context of upcoming elections for various governmental levels, including the presidency.

The RPF-Inkotanyi candidate expressed his confidence in the support of the Rwandan people, noting that his decision to run for another term was driven by their requests. He remarked, “I am here asking for your votes for the election on the 15th of next month, but my presence here is more about visiting you than campaigning. After all, wasn’t it you who urged me to run again?”

Kagame reminisced about Rwanda’s challenging history over the past 30 years, particularly the hardships resulting from colonialism. He highlighted the RPF’s political agenda, which focuses on transforming the lives of Rwandans through development. “The RPF-Inkotanyi’s politics is about changing negative history. This is what RPF stands for – making a unique difference by transforming what needs to be changed,” Kagame said.

Kagame linked this unique difference to democracy, stating, “Democracy means choosing what suits you, having the freedom to choose what you want. Others have their choices, but here in Rwanda, it is our choice that matters.” He praised the beauty of Rwanda and the pride of being Rwandan, stating that nothing surpasses the privilege of being a Rwandan, and even more so, the honor of leading Rwandans.

In his speech, Kagame thanked the citizens for their enthusiastic participation in the campaign and acknowledged their role in the country’s achievements over the years. He also expressed gratitude to the eight political parties allied with the RPF-Inkotanyi for their support in the campaign.

The campaign event took place at the University of Rwanda’s Busogo Campus (UR-CAVM), drawing a large crowd, including many who arrived as early as midnight and endured the sun all day. Kagame arrived at noon, heavily guarded, including by his son, Captain Ian Kagame. After speaking for about 30 minutes, he departed.

The campaign continues in Rubavu District on Sunday, June 23, 2024.

President Kagame has been in power for 24 years, but effectively, he has been the central figure in Rwandan politics since 1994. Analysts often highlight his intolerance towards political opposition. Notably, in this election, prominent candidates who could have posed a significant challenge, such as Victoire Ingabire, were not allowed to run. Instead, the election features candidates perceived as symbolic opponents.