President Kagame’sresponse on whether he will step down or not, when his tenure ends in 2017, might be known before Christmas.
Kagame who was addressing RPF Political Bureau assembly on Sunday afternoon, December 6, 2015, said that, “My answer cannot be before the referendum.”
The referendum, KT Press has learnt, is likely to be conducted on December 18.
In an Extraordinary Cabinet Meeting chaired by Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi, held at Village Urugwiro on November 25, Cabinet requested President Kagame to call for a referendum so that Rwandans decode on the revised Constitution.
“I have heard each of you and the answer you want from me will be based on the referendum,” Kagame told over 1000 top RPF carders at the congress.
He said he listened to all the views on constitution amendment and whether he should re-run. Kagame explained that his answer will thus be based on “the truth as I understand it.”
As anticipated by many, the major discussion of the day was about the ‘3rd term’ and other pressing elements surrounding it.
The RPF, the ruling party, was ‘evaluating consequences of our different choices and asking ourselves what the alternative is.’
“We do not live on an island, we listen to other voices, we debate and we use it to make the final decision based on one’s own context,” Kagame said.
However, like he did last week, the President did nottake lightly the recent remarks made by U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, who dismissed the whole constitutional amendment process as “parliamentary maneuverings”. Kagame said: “they tell us we should have the right to make our own choices, but our choices then become defined as manoeuvring.”
The U.S., now one of Rwanda’s closest allies, has been widely regarded as a bully and practicing double standards on Rwanda.
Power said last week that President Kagame should step down and set an example for a region in which leaders seem too tempted to view themselves as indispensable.
Yet, the U.S. has on numerous occasions, same as critics of Kagame’s government, demanded for freedom of expression and citizenry participation in the matters of national development.
Despite 3.7 million Rwandans petitioning parliament to amend the constitution, and allow them to vote for President Kagame, Power undermined the rights of the constituents.
President Kagame told members of the RPF Political Bureau that Rwanda will not accept to be ‘a mirror image’ of others.
“If you want something from me by looking down on me, you can be sure 100% you won’t get it. You can be sure you will get the opposite.
The argument behind the protesting and arm-twisting Rwanda has widely been dressed with the view of “peaceful transfer of power.”
“We have lived a life of subservience long enough. I do not understand why anyone would want to go back,” he said and questioned the motive behind the argument. “We know of places that have had peaceful transfer of power for decades, but they have come to live in poverty as a way of life.”
This, Kagame said, calls for a disagreement on what is right or wrong. “We can be good friends, we can agree to disagree, but there is a line when it comes to the interest of Rwandans.”