Rwanda’s President, Paul Kagame has taken the oath for a third term in office after his landslide victory in the presidential polls held in early August.
Kagame won the election with 98.7% of the total votes while the main opposition leader, Frank Hapineza and independent candidate, Phillippe Mpayimana shared the remaining 1.93% of the votes.
The country’s Chief Justice, Prof. Sam Rugege administered the oath of office to Kagame after which he handed over the country’s national symbols: Constitution, National Flag and National Emblem to Kagame who is expected to rule for the next seven years.
The 59-year-old Kagame who has been the country’s Head of State since 2000 while delivering his inaugural speech said: “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.
“The presence of so many brothers and sisters from around Africa honours our nation deeply and gives us strength. We thank you. Africa has been with Rwanda when we needed you most,” Kagame said.
“Nothing gives our people greater joy than contributing together with you to the greatness of our continent. Standing alongside us are friends of Rwanda who have always kept our country in their hearts and worked hard to advance it,” he added.
He thanked the leaders of the eight political parties who joined with his RPF party to nominate him as their presidential candidate and congratulated his opponents in the elections for bringing their messages directly to the people and for creating a positive environment for the elections.
The country’s Chief Justice, Prof. Sam Rugege administered the oath of office to Kagame after which he handed over the country’s national symbols: Constitution, National Flag and National Emblem while the country’s Chief of Defense staff presented Kagame who is expected to rule for the next seven years with a sword.
Among dignitaries who witnessed the swearing in ceremony were President Alpha Conde of Guinea who is also the African Union (AU) Chairman, Presidents Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, Ali Bongo of Gabon, Edgar Lungu of Zambia, Salva Kiir of South Sudan, Idris Deby Itno of Chad, Faure Gnassingbe of Togo, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Faustin Touadera of the Central Africa Republic.
Others were President Macky Sall of Mali, Denis Sassou Nguesso of Republic of Congo, Hage Gottfried Geingob of Namibia, Prime Minister of Sao Tome and Principe, Patrice Emery Trovoada, President-elect of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, Nigeria’s Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Ivory Coast, Daniel Kablan Duncan, among others.