Rwanda Minister of State in charge of Primary and Secondary Education in MINEDUC, Olivier Rwamukwaya, wants all Ugandans studying in Rwanda expelled from his country.
The minister of education dismissed the allegation that alleges that he had recently threatened to expel Ugandans from Rwanda as blackmails.
According to a local newspaper, Izuba Rishashe, minister Rwamukwaya made the remarks at the start of February while visiting APRED, a school located in Nderaparish of Gasabo in Kigali city Rwanda.
Andrew Kalisa, the head of the APRED, told the newspaper the minister Rwamukanya threatened to expel Ugandans on February 4, 2016.
He said the minister told the girls that he will expel them should he find them still wearing short miniskirts at the school once again.
“I will close the school and force you to return to your homes in Uganda,” the minister reportedly said.
Kalisa said he was shocked when minister called Ugandans “foreigners” while he (minister) knows that they are not foreigners.
The head of the school was utterly disturbed that the minister did find the school uniform very short and inappropriate.
At a parade in front of the pupils, the minister made many “unsuitable or appropriate comments related to the girls hairs and min-skirts”.
“Next week, I will send a team of inspectors back to the school. I will use my powers to close it and stop you (girls) from studying in Rwanda,” the minister is quoted as saying.
“Should inspectors find that you haven’t changed ways of dressing and hair styles, you will return to your home in Uganda.”
Kalisa said at first, he did think about hair styles but thereafter wondered where the issues of returning to Uganda came from.
“I find this unpatriotic. The minister made these remarks during the Heroes’ week; for those that fought for the liberation of this country. The minister knows that they [Ugandans] liberated all Rwandans so that people can enjoy peace and those in exile [in Uganda mostly] can return home,” Kalisa told the newspaper.
Kalisa explained that people at APRED are not refugees but its their parents that were refugees and not all people that study or work at APRED came from Uganda.
“Why didn’t he (minister) tell them to go to India or elsewhere?”
Kalisa was forced to comfort the traumatised children with a reassurance that no one had the power to send them back to Uganda.
“The school itself can be closed, no-one can prevent them, but you have the right to study elsewhere in Rwanda,” Kalisa told the kids.
Minister Rwamukwaya’s denies
The minister has since denied having said so.
He called it just allegations aimed to smearing him.
“Even someone with mental issues cannot utter such words,” Rwamukwaya told Izuba in his defence.
He said given the position and responsibility he has as a leader, he cannot say such words.
“If someone may harbour such words in his mind/head but he cannot dare to say so in public. Those are smears and they are punishable by the law,” he shot out.
The school APRED Ndera belongs to the Doctrina Vitae of Gasabo.
All Doctrina Vitae schools were inspected on the same day on 04/02/2016, as a part of the government effort to increase cleanness and to fight/combat or prevent Malaria in schools.
The inspection’s objectives were aimed at providing– advice, recommended changes and implementation on issues related to: buildings, leadership, pupils (students) and teachers, etc.