Rachel Nyiramandwa, 109 years old woman was all smiles yesterday when a messenger from President Paul Kagame went to her home in Ngiryi, Gasaka sector of Nyamagabe with a cow and its calf.
Nyiramandwa is that elderly woman who has, for three successive occasions, managed to sneak into the crowd and to reach President Paul Kagame whenever he was in an outreach to the region.
She first met the president during the 2010 electoral campaigns and a photo of her whispering to the head of state became viral on social media.
Seven years later, in the 2017 Presidential campaigns, when Kagame was campaigning in the region near the Nyungwe national park, Nyiramandwa again managed to reach the president because she had a plea to file.
She was again seen whispering to President Kagame and later on, it was revealed that she was talking about a cow she was given seven years earlier in Kagame’s one cow one family program which is given to the poor.
She said the cow had died, and the president offered to give her another one, which he did.
Recently, when president was visiting Nyamagabe district – late February, Nyiramandwa again managed to come forward and the president’s protocol team allowed her access to the president.
This time, they gave her a microphone for the public to listen to the conversation.
“May God bless you for sending me two cows. I am remaining with because another one died,” Nyiramandwa said.
The president asked her whether the cow was giving her milk, and the answer was interesting.
“Not really! But I buy milk from the Sacco that you gave me,” she said.
Sacco stands for the Cooperative of Saving and Credits Scheme, a financial institution in every sector.
Rwanda’s social scheme gives direct monetary support to every vulnerable elderly Rwandan. The monthly stipend is sent to the elderly through Sacco.
Nyiramandwa was all thankful, but the president was still concerned that the cow does not give her milk.
“I will send you another cow with milk,” Kagame said then. On Wednesday, Nyiramandwa received the cow and she invited a neighbor to milk it.
The elderly lost her children and all family members to the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi. She survived together with a 60 year old daughter.