Rwanda President Paul Kagame has told those who are rushing to take power and replace him, that they should be ready to fight for it.
“Those who want to become presidents or replace me will have to work hard for it. Even you my brother you can come but you will have to work very hard for it,” Kagame told press in Kigali.
He was Tuesday afternoon holding a “Kwibohora” interactive discussion with young African Social Media influencers and journalists at Parliament.
Speaking on presidency, Kagame told youth: “It’s an open secret that I didn’t want to continue. Even people in my party who I interacted with, my view was on one side and theirs on the other. I asked them to keep thinking differently and to bring the same argument next time.”
He added: “I might be fitting into the “accidental president” context but while I am there, I have to do something. Before I became President I was a person who fought a real fight. Where I didn’t know whether I would survive the next day.”
Kagame said he has a sense of responsibility in everything he does, and how this impacts the citizens of this country.
On what brings him joy, Kagame said, “To be alive. To be on an everyday struggle to make this country better. At first you sacrifice and then you enjoy the sacrifice. I enjoy this fight to make this country better.”
He said there was the war which started in 1990 originating from injustices where hundreds of Rwandans were being denied their rights, those living outside and those inside living under harsh conditions.
“After the war we started rebuilding. We had to call upon everybody’s contribution. Rwandans from outside and those inside were able to move together and get us where we are now.”
He went on: “In Rwanda we never saw ourselves as an island. We are part of a much bigger family, the African continent. We are part of the EAC and a much wider continent as it is.”
He said the best way to reconnect and tap into this relevancy of coming together is through social, political and economic integration.
“Working together. Thus problems that affect all of us will be dealt with more easily. Making this continent what it should be.”
Kagame said the rest of the world approaches Africa as Africa, but then divide it for ease of “management”.
“That’s why you find the narrative is one. You can imagine, you divide Africa and then later on, you divide Rwanda. Rwanda suffered this division among ourselves. They divided us and we accepted it, we reaped the consequences. We don’t take the problem somewhere else.”
On Unity and reconciliation, he said when bad things happen to “you, you either give up and lose hope, or you are hardened by it and find some sense of hope that helps you improve”.
He said leadership matters because it addressed the problem at hand. “The other part which relates to leadership is how do you introduce a new mindset that helps address the problem?”