Kagame’s ‘third term’ desire derives from popular demand, says Ambassador
THE Rwandan Ambassador to Nigeria, Stanislas Kamanzi has assured that the constitutional changes taking place in the country will not result in any crisis arguing that the Rwanda case was different as it was being powered by the people.
According to him, it started during the various town hall meetings the government had with the people across the regions saying that they were all calling for Mr. President to be allowed to contest again.
“Initially, we thought it was a joke, wherever we went the people across the country were saying the same thing. We laughed it off and told them to mind their business and allow politicians to play politics. Gradually, about four million of them sent a petition to the parliament demanding that President Kagame be allowed to contest again,” he stated during a visit to The Guardian’s Rutam House in Lagos.
Besides, he insisted that to date, Kagame has not indicated interest to run for the office of President for another term, stressing however that if it was the peoples’ desire, it should not be wished away so easily. He argued that President Kagame meant well for Rwandans and would not want to see further bloodshed in the country, adding that when the Burundi crisis erupted, Kagame personally went to Nkurunziza urging him to respect the wish of the people.
His words: “He has not openly revealed that he wants to run for office of the President again, but if the people want him, how can you go against the will of the people? … You must also admit that President Kagame has proven to be a unifying leader in the country right from the beginning and has remained a unifying factor to date.”
Kamanzi disclosed further that the two chambers of parliament in Kigali have ruled that the petition was valid and adopted that the changes in the constitution can take place to enable President Kagame contest again.
The Rwandan Ambassador Kamanzi said that the success story and the recovery of the country from the degradation and genocide of 1994 was not an easy process for the people.
He said that the Rwandan story was like a miracle but stressed that it happened because of a deliberate choice of a political process by the leadership of the country.
“Then the most important thing was which ideology we need to adopt to survive and evolve with, as one united nation”, he stated adding that the major task was bringing back the over 2million Rwandans that were forcefully exiled, reconciling them with the rest and making them useful to themselves and the society.
“Our strength is not in physical endowment but in ideology; one thing that favoured us was the resilience of the people … nobody would have imagine that at this time, after all that transpired, that people would be re-marrying, I mean inter-ethnic marriages”.
However, he admitted that there were threats to the feats and successes especially in the area of unity and political stability.
“We are worried and concerned about the sustainability of the success we have achieved so far particularly in the area of nationhood, peace and stable polity. Our concern is informed by the number of those involved in the genocide that are still living outside the country and some are still in opposition and engaging in resistance activities.