Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has told local and international media that the issue of his succession is in Rwandans hands and that he is very concerned of the country’s future other than the third term that is repeatedly and unnecessarily brought up.
The president was responding to questions from Journalists during a press conference held in Kigali this Wednesday 27th February 2013.
The President asserted that Rwandans are the ones concerned with the succession after 2017, saying the rest of the World that seems to worry is actually less concerned.
Kagame challenged some media where he referred to some article he read recently advising him not to be bothered with the justification that the constitution stipulates everything.
He told journalists that any president that is not bothered is out of the place. “I’m bothered of citizens rights, I’m bothered of what has happened, what is happening, what will happen and I’m bothered of where we have come from, where we are and where we are going” Kagame clarified
Explaining why people mistake and confuse some statements he makes with what they already have in mind, the President said Rwandans should not have a president who is not bothered; arguing that it would be a worst deal in their life ever.
“You may have different views but I believe the country has been making progress” He remarked while emphasising on the country progress as the best thing to look at and find ways to consolidate it, empower the society with more vibrant means to promote development from the grassroots instead of focusing on what he referred to as “ a confused situation”
When the question to whether Kagame would leave the office in 2017 was repeated by the newsmen to him, the President reminded them that Rwanda’s situation is very complex, unique, and special with complicated history.
“The debate is welcome. But at the end of the time, let’s remember that Rwandans will decide. These interrogators keep forget that it is Rwandans with prime right, power and decision. It is Rwandans who put the constitution in place people do not know how I’m dying to leave this office so that I can freely say anything, and have peace of mind”.
Some journalists among whom were from the British Broadcasting corporation (BBC) brought in the question of a recent signed peace accord in Addis Ababa over Congo issue, asking if the recently reported conflict among M23 rebels will not affect it.
“This Rwanda that has suffered so much need be treated with respect for our people” He noted.
“I’m not responsible for Congo. When such deals are signed, every country benefits and Rwanda expects to benefit from peace.
Other matters on the press conference table were about opposition parties and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) among others.
While responding to the question posed by a journalist from Reuters on if Kagame would like to see more opposition parties registering, He said: “They may create as many as they want”. He criticised western countries saying “It is even strange that these advocates of oppositions have only two or three opposition parties and most of the time they do not have beyond two but when it comes to Africa they want us to have so many claiming it is the sign of Democracy”.
Kagame even wondered why some countries in Africa which have a good number of political parties have not yet been considered the most democratic countries while on the other hand, those developed ones with only two political parties are said to be the most democratic ones.
He noted that the justice institutions in Rwanda are capable but these International justice institutions like the ICTR might have hidden institutions and agendas, stating that it might be the reason why cases of murderers are handled poorly, partially tried, sentenced and later released.
There are many requests by Rwandans from across the country both in urban and rural who write, speak through media and express their interests during some presidents visits begging President Paul Kagame to consider contesting for the third term.
Kagame has repeatedly said he is not interested in the extension of his time nor does he want to alter the constitution for any reason close to that.
“I do not do this job to be paid or please anybody. I do not want the third term but I’m doing this business…. and when I’m done I’m done. I can serve the country in the deferent way, I’m thinking about the future of Rwanda but not the third term.” Kagame stated