Diane Shima Rwigara: Meet The First Rwandan Female Independent Presidential Contestant



Meet 35-year old Diane Shima Rwigara who has declared her interest to run for the forth coming presidential elections in Rwanda.

She will be the first female independent candidate in the country.

Diane Shima Rwigara said this during a Press briefing in Kigali on Wednesday, May 3, 2017.

Rwandan presidential elections has been scheduled for the 4th of August.

According to the accountant and businesswoman, the ruling party has failed the country for years. She expressed her reservations over RPF’s role in the 2015 referendum that has given President Kagame the green light to run for a third term.

The 2015 referendum legally affords the incumbent president Kagame to stay in power until 2034.

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She says it is a matter of integrity that leaders honorably step down when their ruling time is up.

“When time comes for leaders to leave power, they get excuses to stay and then say that it is the people who are asking them to continue to lead. This is a bad habit across the continent,”

“RPF has failed to tackle poverty or to provide security and justice. What RPF has failed to do in the last 23 years, they cannot do it in the coming years. As a president, I will ensure that I deliver on all these.”

In an earlier press conference on February 23rd 2017 in Kigali, Diane Shima Rwigara addressed issues such as poverty, injustice and insecurity in the country.

She moved that the right to freedom of expression for Rwandans be upheld.

In her manifesto, she says that her priorities were to eradicate poverty, champion free speech, and provide health insurance for all Rwandans.

“I will be tackling poverty, I will be tackling injustice, I will be tackling insecurity. In the last 23 years RPF has been in power, they have not been able, not only to eradicate poverty but even to give Rwandans the minimum, most Rwandans are dying of hunger, they have nowhere to live.”

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Diane Shima Rwigara is the daughter of the prominent Assinapol Rwigara, a Kigali tycoon who died 2 years ago in a controversial road accident.

Other independent candidates warming up for the August polls include former journalist Phillipe Mpayimana, and the controversial Rwandan Catholic priest Thomas Nahimana.

The leader of Rwanda’s opposition Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, Frank Habineza, was selected last month as the party’s flag bearer.

Report says that the names of qualified candidates will be published on July 7, a week before the campaign.

From June 12th- 23rd, the National Electoral Commission will receive nominations from candidates. It says that a provisional list of qualified candidates will be announced on June 27.

Democratic Green Party is the only registered opposition party to Kagame’s government.

Having Diane Shima Rwigara to contest in the upcoming Rwandan election is a further proof of female gender tolerance in Rwandan politics.

The East African country is internationally acclaimed for being the leading country for women in politics. With an impressive 64% Rwanda is the top in the world with share of women in national legislature.

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