Kagame explained to the social media influencers that the history of Rwanda’s liberation struggle of 1990-1994 is one, which every Rwandan associates with; he said many individuals sacrificed their lives to liberate the country after many years of suffering.
“During our time many of us were refugees, not only those who were out of the country but even those who were in the country because they were deprived of their rights in many cases,” he noted.
Kagame was among the people who abandoned their studies and life to join the struggle to fight against the regime that presided over three decades of misrule which culminated in the Genocide against the Tutsi.
“These people (Rwandans) should probably have decided to do something else, but they chose to sacrifice and be part of the liberation struggle,” he said in a televised session.
The Head of State was asked about his personal experience throughout the 26-year journey after the liberation, and all the way to leading the country into a stable nation.
“I didn’t embark on the liberation journey with being a president in mind. I never really targeted to become a president,” he said.
“But certain actions may have led me to where I am. It’s not as if it’s a job interview where you apply,” he added.
President kagame said Rwanda has done all it can to fight the pandemic, indicating that more people in the country have recovered from the virus compared to the active cases; he emphasized that defeating the pandemic requires working together with neighbors.
“No country has all the answers to it but we have to listen to science and do everything to curb the spread of this virus,” he told 20 influencers who were meeting at the Campaign Against Genocide Museum at Parliament.
Kagame also commented on the possibility of improved ties between Rwanda and Burundi, saying the government was ready to work with the new leadership in Burundi led by President Évariste Ndayishimiye.
“There is history that led to the bad relations between our two sister countries but we are ready to work with President Ndayishimiye of Burundi to address those issues,” he noted.
Commenting on the status of regional trade and cross border movement of goods, the Head of State said that there were challenges in movement of goods into and out of the country occasioned by challenges of cooperation by regional countries.
“I have seen in the media false reports that truck drivers entering Rwanda have been harassed and mistreated. That isn’t true. What we do is test truck drivers entering for Covid-19 and that’s what we agreed in the EAC,” kagame said.
President said that Rwanda has been facing difficulties despite attempts to seek ways to work together with other countries often being put in scenarios that could raise the country’s vulnerability to the pandemic.
The President said that cooperation is the only sure way to ensure that trade and movement of goods can continue at the same time managing the pandemic.
“My problem is not who has more cases than the other, our problem is that we should work together to manage it, to control it, there are ways known to do that and through cooperation we can have a very good understanding… There is one way of doing it for everyone; it is cooperation, feeling for one another. And knowing that if we don’t some will suffer more than others,” he said.
He however noted that Rwanda will continue to engage neighboring countries with awareness that post-Covid-19, there will be multiple areas of continued cooperation.
When President Kagame was asked what he thinks about Black Lives Matter, his answer was ‘yes, they do matter’
“I don’t think there is more value with a person of a certain skin color than the other one of a different skin color. Black people have been discriminated against not in just one place but in many places,”
“In fact, some of them have been discriminated even on their own continent, this continent of Africa,” President Kagame said, adding that it shouldn’t have happened and Black Lives Matter is an opportunity to make things different.
President Kagame said that racism should have no room; it doesn’t matter when it happened in the past, or it is happening now, it is wrong because there is no life or race that matters than the other.
“I think some people can easily distort that if you are saying that black lives matter, it is as if you are saying other lives don’t matter. I don’t think that is the issue, that is not correct,”
President Kagame said Black Lives Matter movement is important because it highlights how people have suffered under injustice, under racism, under prejudice.
President Kagame emphasized that saying that Black Lives Matter does not mean that other lives don’t matter but rather a reminder that black lives need to be treated better and not be looked at as lesser humans.