Rwanda: Senate Candidates Pledge to Deepen Technology-Driven Agriculture

The National Electoral Commission’s chairperson Kalisa Mbanda speaking in the Senatorial elections at Kigali City Hall on September 16, 2019.

Candidates campaigning for senatorial posts in Northern Province have promised to revitalise the agriculture sector so as to fast-track the country's progress.

They were speaking yesterday during a rally that they collectively held in Gicumbi District.

Northern Province has seven contestants with solid backgrounds mainly in academics, three of whom women, who are tussling it out for the two slots the province is allocated in the forthcoming senatorial elections.

The elections for the 12 senators that will be elected through colleges by local government advisory councils will be held on September 16.

The contestants are Richard Mugenzi, Dr Leatitia Nyinawamwiza, Dr Faustin Habineza, Dr Consolé Sibosiko, Gaspard Rwanyiziri, Chantal Kabasinga and Vedaste Kabasha.

Addressing Gicumbi District's Electoral College, most of the candidates expressed the will to advocate for problems that hinder development of agriculture.

Nyinawamwiza, the principal of University of Rwanda College of Agriculture and Animal Veterinary Medicine(UR-CAVM) and one of the candidates said that once elected she will use her experience to advocate for technology-driven agriculture that benefits practitioners and the country at large.

"I personally studied agriculture in all my tertiary studies, I will therefore strive for sustainable agriculture that goes hand-in-hand with research and technology innovations to ensure inclusive development," she noted.

Mugenzi echoed Nyinawamwiza commitments stressing that once elected, he would advocate for a digital platform that will link farmers and decision makers in the province to tackle in advance issues that impede the agricultural sector.

Northern Province Governor, Jean Marie Vianney Gatabazi commended all the candidates for the contribution they want to offer their country.

He however called on those who will be elected to walk their talk by putting forward selfless service in their day-to-day endeavors.

The Coordinator of National Election Commission (NEC) in the province, Jean Dieu Rutatika, cautioned candidates to abide by the laws governing senatorial elections.

"You are not allowed to campaign in the name of your political parties, do not use divisive language and do not use any other means that are against the law," he advised.

Rwanda's Senate is made up of 26 members - including 12 members who represent the country's four provinces and the City of Kigali.

A day after the election of the 12 senators, there will be the election for one senator to represent lecturers and researchers in public institutions, while on September 18 the same group for private institutions will also elect their one senator.

Other senators will be nominated by the Consultative Forum for Political Organisations which is allocated four seats while the remaining eight are nominated by the Head of State.

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