Rwandan under fire for discriminatory comments

IN HOT WATER: Minister Olivier Rwamukwaya

IN HOT WATER: Minister Olivier Rwamukwaya

Rwanda State Minister for Education, Olivier Rwamukwaya has come under fire for making sectarian -charged comments while visiting APRED Ndera school, one of the oldest Anglophone secondary schools in the Rwandan capital Kigali.

Rwamukwaya is alleged to have unexpectedly paid a visit to the school on February 4, and was reportedly upset by the female dress code of mini- skirts and long hair –do among female students and threatened to close the school if nothing is done.
Kalisa Andrew, the head teacher of APRED Ndera school confirmed to a local Kinyarwanda tabloid –Izubarirashye- that the minister said that if nothing is done he would send back to Uganda all the students and teachers.

While APRED Ndera is dominated by Rwandan students and teachers who were born, and grew up in Uganda origin, they said that they were shocked at the verbal expressions of the minister and wondered what their fate would be.

“He (Rwamukwaya) said very harsh statements to students and teachers. We wouldn’t mind the issue of questioning the dressing code, but we wondered why he would have to threaten us saying that he has the authority to send us back to Uganda- that is what was so painful,” one student told this website on condition of anonymity.

Rwamukwaya however has said that the claims are not true and they are baseless and that he wouldn’t make such statements in his normal state of the mind.“Unless I am mad, how can I have said such words” Rwamukwaya was quoted as saying.

Even though the minister denied the accusations as reported in local media, the school authorities, teachers and students have reportedly been left in disarray and demanded that the minister withdraws his statements officially.