Kagame praises Bazivamo, Ngarambe for stellar service at RPF-Inkotanyi

RPF-Inkotanyi this past weekend marked their 35th anniversary with an International Conference and its 16th National Congress.

The events were capped by the election of the RPF National Executive Committee (NEC), which is charged with the day-to-day activities of the party.

President Paul Kagame was re-elected as the party Chairman, while Consolee Uwimana was elected the Vice-Chairperson, making her the first female number two in party’s hierarchy, in the 35 years of its existence.

The party also elected a new Secretary General, Wellars Gasamagera, who has been the Commissioner in charge of Political Mass Mobilisation in RPF.

Uwimana and Gasamagera replaced Christophe Bazivamo and Francois Ngarambe, respectively, two long-serving party leaders who had both held the positions since 2002.

Speaking at the party’s anniversary cocktail, Kagame said the two could have been re-elected, should they have run.

“These cadres were replaced not because RPF Cadres did not want to vote for them again; no, this was not the case; both Bazivamo and Ngarambe willfully decided to step aside to let others take on the mantle. I have no doubt that had they stood again, they would have been re-elected,” Kagame said.

“I want to particularly thank Vice Chairman Christophe Bazivamo for the work he has done for the party and for the country…to thank him first as a cadre of RPF and as a leader in different capacities in which he served.

“I also want to thank the outgoing Secretary General…actually people were no longer calling him by his name, he has been known mainly as Secretary General. This is an indication of longevity in service; not just that but because he served with distinction” Kagame said.

He also thanked the cadres for trusting him again with the responsibility to lead the party, but added that this also comes with a sense of guilt.

“Whenever you put that trust in me like today, and this has been going on for long, there are two things; being happy to serve, and something else, which is different…It comes with a dose of guilt; I feel indebted, Kagame said.

He implored the party cadres to think about the transition from his leadership, saying that the sooner they found a solution, the better.

“I am not saying this just for the leadership of RPF-Inkotanyi. The same goes for the leadership of the country. You should know that every time I am brought back to serve, that burden even increases,” he added.

Besides the three party leaders, cadres also elected 25 commissioners who will be put in charge of different commissions.

Out of these commissioners, 10 were drawn from cadidates forwarded by the party’s youth league as party of the RPF strategy to ensure continuity.

The party’s constitution also stipulates that for all the 28 members of NEC, at least 30 per cent must be women.

The committee’s tenure is five years.