President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, has today been sworn in for the third term in office.
Kagame who has ruled the country since 2000, won the August 4 election with a 98.7 per cent landslide. The main opposition party leader Frank Habineza and independent contender Philippe Mpayimana shared the remaining votes.
Addressing thousands of fervent Rwandans and invited guests, Kagame described his re-election for the third term as a demonstration of the trust Rwandans have in themselves and promised not to let them down in his new seven-year term.
“Today is a day of celebration and a day to thank each of you…. Today is a day of renewal and gratitude. I would therefore like to begin by thanking those who have joined us here,” he said in his inaugural address to his ecstatic supporters.
“The presence of so many brothers and sisters from around Africa honours our nation deeply and gives us strength. We thank you because you [Africa] has been with Rwanda when we needed you most.’’ Kagame called for home-grown solutions to Africa’s problems and criticised western powers for imposing their style of democracy on Africa.
President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Kenya’s president-elect, Uhuru Kenyatta, Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, South Sudan president Salva Kiir Mayardit, Gabon's president Ali Bongo, Idriss Déby Itno of Chad and African Union Chairman president Alpha Conde of Guinea were among other heads of state who attended the ceremony in the Amahoro Stadium in the capital, Kigali.
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) president Joseph Kabila, Burundi's Pierre Nkurunziza and Tanzania’s John Pombe Joseph Magufuli did not attend. Mr Magufuli however, sent former President Benjamin Mkapa to represent him. He flew the presidential jet to Kigali.
Mr Kagame swore before the president of Supreme Court of Rwanda, Sam Rugege to "observe the constitution and support the interests of the Rwandan people in respecting all laws." Kagame who was accompanied by his wife Jeannette Kagame, received instruments of power and once again promised to preserve the peace and unity and paid tribute to the first time voters who were a central pillar in his victory.