Rwandan Parliament Receives 4 Million Petitions to Keep Kagame as leader
OnÂ August 21, 2006,Â Rwanda’sÂ Capital,Â Kigali, woke up to a paralysis. Kigali City Council authorities and the National Police had banned over 2500 motor taxis.
Reasons included the cause of deaths and injuries through accidents and that they facilitated robbery and caused insecurity.
Each operator was losing at least Frw7,000 a day or a combined loss of Rwf6.4 billion annually, about 50% of (Rwf13 billion)Rwanda’sÂ budget for the agriculture sector that same year.
City authorities deployed public buses (ONATRACOM), but it did not help at all. They stood their ground until PresidentÂ Paul Kagame intervened and ordered that the ban be lifted.
Today, the industry employs more than 78,000 members directly.
“Losing President Kagame is the worst mistake we can ever make,” saysÂ Damien Mugabo, the President of the Rwanda Cooperative Agency.
“He rescued us from the misery; we will do whatever it takes to keep him in power.”
The umbrella of all cooperatives, with over 250,000 members, has collected thousands of signed letters, requesting the parliament to amend the constitution and allow President Kagame to stand for a third term in 2017. The current constitution prohibits anyone to run for more than two terms.
Similarly, thousands of students have done the same. However, students have a special case to consider.
For years, it would take 90 days for a student to receive a loan, which the education minister, Silas Lwakabamba toldÂ KT PressÂ that, “some losses were also involved.”
Every time President Kagame visited universities, students would raise the issue.
He has signed a law allowing the Rwanda Development Bank (BRD) to give the loans and spent overÂ $100 millionÂ scholarships to study abroad.
Students say Kagame is a gift from God.
As Kagame’s tenure ends in 2017, millions of other Rwandans across the country are pushing for the constitutional amendment to keep him.
They say Kagame has given them peace and prosperity and thus should stay.
Over four million petitions have been signed and delivered to Parliament.Â Between June 5 and August 4, lawmakers will debate on the amendment as demanded by the petitioners.
Suppose a motion is voted in favour of the amendment, Kagame may have no choice, but to re-run.