Officials from the Ministry of Local Government and Rwanda National Police met yesterday to discuss and harmonize measures to ensure that the upcoming presidential campaigns are incident-free throughout the country.
The meeting held at the RNP General Headquarters, was chaired by the Minister of Local Government, Francis Kaboneka.
It was also attended by the Minister of State in charge of Socio Economic Development, Vincent Munyeshyaka , the Inspector General of Police, Emmanuel K. Gasana, Mayor of City of Kigali, Provincial Governors, Deputy IGPs; district mayors and senior police officers in various leadership posts.
In his remarks, Minister Kaboneka commended the existing working relations with the Police and called for a more harmonised cooperation to ensure that the forthcoming presidential campaigns and elections are conducted in a secure environment.
“Incident-free presidential campaigns and elections have become a norm and culture in Rwanda. We need to maintain the tempo, through sharing adequate information in real time,” Min Kaboneka said.
He appealed to local leaders to ensure that people move freely to and from campaign sites without any interruptions.
IGP Gasana said that the security campaign plan was jointly developed by security forces, and stressed the need to manage the excitements, and people’s movements during and after the presidential elections.
“Out of excitement or anxiety, some people may be involved in unexpected incidents like accidents…we need to collectively ensure that we protect the people from such preventable accidents, uncertainties so that the campaigns and elections are conducted smoothly,” IGP Gasana said.
“Let’s all abide by the election law and ensure no one violates it. We can only facilitate the processes but no one is allowed to interfere with election processes,” he added.
He further called for more vigilance of Traffic Police Officers to effectively control the increasing movements on the roads during campaigns.
Also highlighted during the meeting is the need to ensure campaigns sites are well managed and proper care is given to the weak, pregnant women, elderly and the sick.
The meeting was also in line with article 41, law n° 27/2010 of 19/06/2010 relating to elections on the role of the security agents in ensuring security at polling stations.
The article stipulates that, “Security officials are authorized to be present in the vicinity of the polling stations at any type of election. Civilian and police authorities shall provide any assistance required by the Chairperson of the polling station committee for the smooth conduct of the elections. In any case, the request for the assistance of security agents shall in no way infringe upon all entitled persons’ exercise of their voting prerogatives provided by this law.”
In an effort to further prevent road accidents, the meeting resolved to ensure that, trucks and buses that will be used to transport people to rally sites during the presidential campaigns must have valid insurance allowing them to transport people in big numbers, a valid motor-vehicle inspection certificate, and speed governors.