President Paul Kagame has said that he is ready to work with former presidential candidates he defeated during the recently concluded Presidential elections. He announced this on Monday in an interview with a Uganda-based NBS Television, commenting on the elections and what will happen thereafter.
President Kagame, emerged the winner during the elections that took place between 3-4 August 2017 to win by 98.63%.
Independent candidate Mpayimana Phillippe followed with (0.73%) while Frank Habineza of Democratic Green Party got (0.47%).
The Head of State said that working with those he defeated poses no problem. He said, ‘‘I think that the place is open to everybody.”
He reiterated that there is no special issue to embark on during the seven-year term, saying that he will continue on what has been done.
“It’s a matter of continuing with what we had longed to achieve. During the first two terms, we were rebuilding our country, the economy which was in a bad shape as well as the Rwandan community which had been destroyed by bad history.”
‘I should have completed my work as the President’
President Kagame explained that by now he should have completed his responsibilities as the President but he could not turn down the request of the population.
“I should have completed my work as the President this year but there emerged the requests from the population that I should continue. I was ready to conclude my duties. By the time the requests emerged, it necessitated that a criterion be followed (referendum).”
Kagame said that he felt no shame for having accepted what the citizenry had requested him, then noted, ‘‘If I say that I was inconvenienced by this article, wouldn’t be upholding what we strive for… I accepted that after hearing from different people, I am fully aware about what we encounter. The day I will leave the responsibilities of leading the country, I will continue serving it, in different capacities.”
President Kagame said that his focus is on promoting the economy and reducing poverty without leaving behind any single person.
He emphasized that he will continue to instill in Rwandans what is the most suitable for them, without waiting for any external assistance.
He gave an example of 1994, when the Genocide against the Tutsi was taking place saying that the so called friends of Rwanda left and came back after Genocide had been stopped.
He said; “Whenever problems arise, you are the one who takes the centre stage, everybody stood aloof, until it was stopped. After that is when they started coming back.”
“Whenever you hear people saying different things, they do say useless things with an intention of derailing us from what we believe in…..we don’t accomplish tasks for the purposes of being thanked; we accomplish them because they are the ones we are in need of.”
‘Iam not ready to become the East African Community President’
President Kagame said that the East African Community will continue to work as a team, in cooperation and in a dignified manner. However, he pointed out that if anybody tries to force others about the methods of work will be wasting his time.
He promised that security in East Africa will continue to improve, as well as cooperation among countries in the coming years.
He explained that the region is endowed with everything, for it to develop. “I can’t see any reason as to why this region can’t grow stronger within the next 10 or 15 years.”