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Kagame dismisses U.S. comments over 2017 run

1:24 pm

Scenes like these are a common occurence in Rwanda whenever President Kagame visits any party of the country


President Paul Kagame has repeated his earlier indication that western governments are intent on diverting attention of his government away from tackling Rwanda’s problems.

The U.S. State Department released a statement on Saturday saying it was “disappointed” by his announcement on new year that he would respond positively to 3.8m petitions for him to run in 2017. A referendum held earlier also saw more than 98% vote in favour of constitutional amendment of various articles including term limits.

In Twitter comments on Monday, President Kagame said: “There are quite many very disappointing things happening across the globe we hope to carry our own burden and not be others’ burden…!!!”

Kagame added: “I promise we don’t intend to disappoint.. especially ourselves!!!”

The President’s comments of a possible shift in Rwanda’s politics was also made during the national dialogue before Christmas and his subsequent appearances. Kagame has indicated that his government will deal with the constant criticisms. “You will see less and less of what we have been criticised…not because of critics but because we feel it is the right thing to do” he said then.

However, Kagame also added that the term limits debate being pushed by western governments is a “diversion”. Rwanda’s, and indeed Africa’s pressing problems are what needs urgent attention, he said.

In his Twitter response to the U.S. today, he added: “Africa’s problems; poverty, disease, governance, technology …etc etc will not easily be solved by what is behind this [deeply disappointed] attitude !!!”

When Kagame announced his decision to run in 2017 on new year, there were big parties across the country for the whole night. The excitement was visibly massive – as many see President Kagame as the reason the country is a global envy.

Up to 3million will have been pulled out poverty by end of 2016 as a result of an ambitious poverty alleviation program launched in 2008. All Rwandans have access to subsidised health insurance. The country is very clean – as streets shine as result of no garbage.

You will move from one corner of Rwanda to another with no single threat to your life – contrary to situation in the region. Research from international bodies shows the country is safest for women – can move anywhere and any time without fear.

When you read the statements from western governments and Kagame’s virulent critics, they never refer to any failure on his part to provide for the people. Instead, they say he is staying too long.

In Rwanda, the response from 11.5m Rwandans living the benefits of his administration has been: “on ne change pas une équipe qui gagne” (You do not change a winning team).