Kirehe, 5 August 2010
Four days before the elections, the RPF rallies continue to bring together an increasing number of supporters. In the Eastern Province, eighty thousand Kirehe residents made the journey to tell President Kagame that they have made their choice. As the words on their banners expressed, choosing RPF is to choose peace, justice, security and democracy. What the banner s did not say was that choosing President Kagame means choosing the kind of empowerment that no leader ever gave Rwandans. As Nyirimpundu Josephine told the Kirehe supporters, until the RPF leadership “I never knew how capable and powerful I could be.”
At 34 years old and with a new business that brings her 70,000,000 RWF per year, Nyirimpundu has indeed become a powerful woman. She is the owner of seven greenhouses in which she grows fruits and vegetables to sell nationally. After losing her husband, she received training from the Ministry of Agriculture and used her 100,000 inheritance to ask for a startup loan. It is safe to say that she has put her training to good use and is an undeniable example of the saying “teach a woman to fish and she will feed herself for a lifetime.” In this case, Nyirimpundu is not only feeding herself- she has seven employees and her technologically advanced agriculture feeds thousands nationally.
Following Nyirimpundu inspiring story, President Kagame told the crowd to remember that “we owe nothing to anyone but ourselves…we are a people who value themselves and our ability to make our own choices.” As the story of Nyirimpundu shows, the days of a Rwanda whose policies are dictated from those who know very little about the needs of Rwandans are long gone. As President Kagame’s expressed, the RPF leadership is one that will focus and deliver based on the needs of each Rwandan regardless of their ethnicity. “Rwanda is not a country of Hutu, Tutsi or Twa. It is a country for all Rwandans.” President Kagame asked the supporters to tell those who doubt the progress that Rwandans have made to look at how far Kirehe has come in five years. He ended with “the RPF is determined to continue on this road to prosperity…we are here to ask for your continuous trust in the RPF, your hard work and determination…don’t ever give up because the best is yet to come.”