Gasabo, 7 August 2010

Many have been so intent on believing that the Rwandan success story is short lived that they have failed to realize that they are in fact witness to one of the most democratic and peaceful elections in the region.  If we continue to define democracy as the choice of the majority, the support for President Kagame in this campaign has surpassed this definition. The genuine demonstration of excitement and confidence in the RPF candidate are not the result of a well-oiled brain washing machine as many continue to think-it is the results of the change that President Kagame’s leadership has brought to Rwanda. His leadership not only liberated Rwandans from the genocide but also reached back into history and broke the cycle of bad leadership that has plagued Rwanda for over sixty years. In sixteen years, President Kagame’s leadership has slowly rebuilt the trust, confidence and belief in self that were lost with colonization. Testimonies after testimonies, Rwandans from all over the country stood up in front of all the supporters to thank President Kagame for restoring their pride in their countries and themselves.

View pictures of RPF rally in Gasabo

On the last day of the campaign, one hundred thousand Gasabo residents turned up to cheer loudly and clearly that their support for the RPF presidential candidate was their democratic choice. When asked why she supported President Kagame, Nyiransengimana Josephine expressed that she was at loss for words to express her gratitude for his leadership. One of the loudest cheering supporters, Dukundane Jean de Dieu, a former MDR member, expressed that President Kagame was the answer to all Rwandans prayers. “His leadership has focused on what unites Rwandans and fought hard against what divides us…he was the one missing for Rwandans to unite” he says. Dukundane not only attributes the end of genocide to President Kagame but also thanks him for his extraordinary vision that allowed him to focus on reconciliation rather than revenge after the genocide. In response to the Rwandans and foreign critics of President Kagame, Dukundane simply considers them short sighted and unable to see the vision that President Kagame has for his country.

With constant interruption of cheers and songs, President Kagame addressed his last rally with words that continue to put the needs of Rwandans above all others. He told the crowd, “no one knows what you have been through but that will not stop us…we will continue to work hard and achieve what many believe to be impossible.” He continued to emphasize the role of each Rwandans in building our own country because “no one else but us will build Rwanda for us, no one will give us the democracy we deserve and no one will stand up and fight for our dignity and our history to be respected…it is me and it is you who will achieve these goals together.” He ended by thanking all his supporter for the extraordinary support of the past few weeks. “We are a new Rwanda, a Rwanda that will stand up for itself and will shape its own development…thank you for never giving up.”