RPF youth chant party songs at Petit Stade before electing a new executive committee. (Doreen Umutesi)

RPF youth chant party songs at Petit Stade before electing a new executive committee. (Doreen Umutesi)

The elections that took place at Petit Stade Amahoro were attended by top ranking RPF officials including Vice Chairperson, Christophe Bazivamo, Secretary General, Francois Ngarambe and Commisioner Antoine Mugesera, among others.

In an election overseen by the chairperson of RPF electoral committee, Wellars Gasamagera, delegates voted Jean Claude Barimuyabo as chairperson after winning with 371 votes (71%). His opponent, Eugene Uwimana managed a paltry 151 votes (28%).

The Vice president position was contested by three people; Emmanuel Ntwali, Alex Muhire and Philemon Mbayiha. Ntwali emerged winner bu garnering 283 votes from the 523 delegates present.

Evaline Bampiriye was elected Secretary General with 203 votes (38.8%). She beat off stiff competition from Rosine Kairangwa, Theresa Mukamana and Alice Uwizeye. The delegates also voted commissioners in various capacities.

Apart from good governance that saw strong competition between Jovia Gasengayire and Octave Mugisha, the other commissioners were unopposed. Jovia Gasengayire carried the day with 321 votes (61.3%). Jean Nepomuscene Byukusenge is commissioner of Justice; Economy commissioner is Jean Claude Rukundo and Marie Therese Itangishaka is commissioner of Social welfare.

In his remarks, Bazivamo reminded the youth of their role in the development of the country.

?The youth played a big role in RPF?s history and that?s why we value their contribution. However, they do have a big role to play in strengthening the foundation that this country is built on since they are tomorrow?s leaders who have the responsibility of continuing to develop the country,? he said.

The outgoing chairperson, Ange Marie Liliane Umuhoza, thanked her committee and delegates and also highlighted some of the outgoing committee?s achievements.

?Rwanda signed the African Youth Charter which provides a strategic framework for youth empowerment and development activities at the continental, regional and national levels across Africa. We also advocated for orphans of the Genocide against the Tutsi to get their family property back,? she said.

Umuhoza also informed delegates that they established youth groups that advocate for human rights as well as training 6,040 youths in various vocational studies with the aim of encouraging job creation.

In his first speech as chairperson, Barimuyabo, 25, promised to continue the good work of the outgoing committee and rally youth country wide to be patriotic.

?I?m really happy for being trusted with such a huge responsibility. It shows that people have faith in my abilities to execute the duties of this office. I will focus on urging the youth to work hard, be self-reliant and earn respect and dignity,? he said.

Today, the National Women?s Congress will also gather at Petit Stade for their General Assembly.

By Dean Karemera, The New Times

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