President Paul Kagame has assured Rwandans that the country will observe a regular transfer of power, but real power and decision-making should remain in the hands of the people themselves.
“Rwandans expect a democracy in which public office is routinely transferred from one individual of their choice to another,” Kagame said while officially opening the 13th national dialogue in the capital Kigali.
“When the time comes to transfer responsibility, Rwandans already have confidence that it will be done,” he said and explained that Rwandans want a good politics that keeps “delivering results and respects the fundamental principles in our constitution.”
The president singled out the youth where statistics indicate their overwhelming support in a referendum through voting in favour of the revised constitution.
The youth constitutes over 70% of Rwandans, according to the 2012 national census.
In the referendum polls of December 17-18, over 98% voters of the 6 million approved the amended constitution, thus approving a-5 year presidential term limit which will start after a transitional period of seven years from 2017.
The amended constitution means President Kagame can run again, which is the wish of majority voters.
“The overwhelming majority of the people, who approved the revised constitution, are young Rwandans,” Kagame has said. “The youth belongs to a generation that has never had reason to fear a policeman, or bribe a petty bureaucrat, for the right to live.”
The president’s appreciation to the youth approving the constitution is founded on the fact that they voted without any influence from the Rwandan dark history.
“Many have never heard gunfire, much less experienced those moments of cold terror, that left so many invisible scars.”
The president said, all these Rwandans expressed satisfaction on what Rwanda has achieved, but added, “These Rwandans have told us that we can do more and better, even faster. And they are right.”
Kagame however, expressed his disappointment to some people who depict Rwandans as people incapable of either thought or feeling.
“They are deliberately abusive. We listen, we pay attention and put where it belongs,” he said.
The president assured all those that are wondering about the future of the country leadership, that no matter what, the routine succession will be observed as per the constitution.
The president said Rwandans have made a better choice to safeguard what they achieved together.
“Rwandans have decided to establish a specific interval, in which to fortify our gains, make them irreversible.”
Over 1000 participants are attending the National Dialogue Umushyikirano where they will deliberate on 20 resolutions of the previous national dialogue, and set other goals for 2016.
Several Rwandans are attending including representatives from the Diaspora.