Kagame: Rwandans want good politics that keeps delivering
President Paul Kagame has defended the recent referendum on constitutional amendment as a democratic path started by Rwandans, noting that term limits cannot limit the country’s growth.
“No individual is there forever, but there is no term limit on values, institutions, and progress,” President Kagame said while delivering State of the Nation address at the 13th annual National Dialogue.
“Rwandans want good politics that keeps delivering, they also expect a democracy in which public office is routinely transferred from one individual of their choice to another, yet real power and decision-making always remain firmly in the hands of the people themselves” he noted.
The 13th â€œUmushikiranoâ€ that attracted over 1,000 Rwandans, including those from the diaspora to discuss the country’s progress.
During the his address, Kagame lashed out those who criticise Rwandaâ€™s constitutional change – particularly those from the western world – and noted that unlike what critics say, democracy is stronger in the country of a thousand hills.
“There is no problem with criticism from any quarter, because it can benefit us. But statements that acknowledge our good results, while depicting Rwandans as people incapable of either thought or feeling, are not critical, they are deliberately abusive,” he said.
Kagame acknowledged that at some point Rwanda will get another president, but that it should happen with utmost peace and by what the people choose.
“Our democracy is stronger because we have continued to define ourselves, and refused to be distracted. Participation in the recent Referendum was massive. Most voted “Yes”. Tens of thousands voted “No”. I thank each one of you” he explained.
“It is a privilege and a duty to serve Rwanda, not an entitlement,” he said.
“When the time comes to transfer responsibility from one public servant to another, Rwandans already have confidence that it will be done in the orderly and harmonious manner which we expect and indeed require”.
According to Kagame there are important reasons learned from Umushikirano â€œWe are not afraid of the past, we are full of optimism for the future. Letâ€™s not miss our moment; Rwandans have decided to establish a specific interval, in which to fortify our gains, make them irreversibleâ€ Kagame said.