Kigali, 20 July 2010
The atmosphere in Amahoro Stadium at the launch of the RPF Presidential Campaign personified the indomitable spirit of party members. By 8am, RPF members had already started to stream into the stadium, even though most knew that the event would not begin until well into the afternoon. A sea of white T-Shirts blanketed the field and all the stands. The only notable exception to this was the black and blue T-Shirts at the far end of the stadium VIP area which boldly spelled out “KAGAME PAUL OYE”.
The crowd of 40,000 was mostly young and energetic. They danced and chanted party slogans throughout the event, accompanied by famous Rwandan artists including crowd favorites Kitoko, Miss Jojo and Dr. Claude.
The RPF is as a determined, focused, and organized party. Tuesday’s event suggests that this state of mind permeates to every level of the party. The crowd sang campaign songs, danced and moved between the bleachers with a level of zeal and joy that can be rivaled by few.
President Kagame arrived to a hero’s welcome and immediately made a loop around the field shaking hands and waving to the crowd. He surprised everyone when he decided, impromptu, to climb a metal staircase to greet some of the crowd in the stands.
In his address, President Kagame pledged to maintain the progress and development gained in the last seven years, and to accelerate the building of truly independent and dignified Rwanda. The RPF’s vision of zero corruption, free health care for all, modernized agricultural, quality education, and continued investment in infrastructure and ICT would remain priorities in a new mandate.
President Kagame reminded party members that although Rwanda had made significant strides in development, there remained a long way to go and called upon all to work as a team to face what lay ahead in the path to development and prosperity.
The ambiance of the campaign launch embodied the values that the RPF epitomizes; solidarity, enthusiasm, confidence and diversity. This rally reflected the enormous changes that have occurred in last 16 years and the acknowledgment of the diligence and effectiveness of RPF leadership of a new united and determined nation.