Damning revelations


Graphic illustration of schools with high cases of genocide ideology. (Graphics/Jean Pierre Twizeyimana)

PARLIAMENT - A parliamentary probe has revealed an alarming rate of cases of genocide ideology in several secondary schools around the country, some scoring as high as 97 percent. In one case, for example , Association pour la Culture, l’Education et le Developpement Integre (ACEDI) de Mataba, a school in Gakenke District, Northern Province, school authorities introduced uniforms for Genocide survivor students, which were different from other students’.

The inquiry came up with a list of eleven schools, which are leading in cases of genocide ideology countrywide.

A report presented by a team of MPs who have been investigating genocide ideology in schools since August, reveals that some anonymous letters (tracts) were circulated in ACEDI de Mataba, with some carrying such writings as ‘Abatutsi ni inzoka, baraturambiye kandi tuzabica’, loosely translated to mean ‘Tutsis are snakes, we are fed up with them and we will kill them.’

ACEDI de Mataba and Ecole Secondaire de Gaseke in Gicumbi District, Northern Province, are the schools with most genocide cases, tying at 97 percent cases, according to the report.

Damning details of rampant of genocide ideology were equally unearthed at Ecole Secondaire de Gaseke. There, the six-man Chamber of Deputies’ probe team, found widespread cases of anonymous genocide-fuelling letters, with some reading ‘Musenge n’ubwo tutabatema tuzabaroga kandi muzapfa nabi’ (pray because even if we don’t cut you in pieces, we shall bewitch you), ‘Murabeshya tuzongera tubaganze kandi tuzongera tubice kuko niyo ntego – mwa ba Tutsi mwe, twabibutsaga’ (You Tutsis we shall ultimately kill you again, because that is our mission – that’s a reminder).

In that same school, the MPs led by Donatilla Mukabalisa told their colleagues during a plenary session on Monday, that they found writings similar to the infamous ten Hutu commandments, which were published in the former extremist Kangura newspaper, in the run up to the 1994 Rwanda Genocide.

The report indicated that subsequent to the continued hostile agenda targeting Genocide survivor students at Ecole Secondaire de Gaseke, district and the school authorities, transferred some of the most targeted students to other schools, while one was made to become a day scholar.

Threatening anonymous letters were also found in other schools where genocide ideology was found to be rampant including Groupe Scolaire de Shyogwe in Muhanga District, Southern Province; Ecole Secondaire de Mudasomwa in Nyamagabe District, Southern Province; Ecole Secondaire de Taba in Gatsibo District, Eastern Province; Groupe Scolaire de Muhura in Gatsibo District and Ecole Secondaire de Tumba in Rulindo District, Northern Province.

The MPs also said in their report that genocidal language or statements ridiculing survivors are commonly used in among others Ecole Secondaire de Mudasomwa in Nyamagabe District; Groupe Scolaire de Kigeme, Nyamagabe District, Southern Province; EAV Rushashi in Gakenke District, Northern Province; and Institute Prespyterien de Kirinda (IPK), Karongi District in the Western Province.

‘In IPK, hostile actions against Genocide survivor students were found out to have been done including torching their clothes,’ reads part of the report, which was compiled in two huge books.

However, the MPs indicated that in some schools, there are only indications of ethnic divisions rather than genocide ideology, particularly citing College Marie Reine de la Paix of Rwamagana District, Eastern Province, where some students told their colleagues ethnically motivated statements.

Some of those statements, the report shows, include ‘Umuhutu yari anyujije mu mapine y’amazuru’ (a Hutu almost pushed me through his tyre-like nose), ‘Ndi umwami w’Abahutu’ (I am the King of Hutus) and ‘Iyi foto yari nziza iyo itabamo umuhutu’ (this photo would have been good had it not been for this Hutu in it).

After ACEDI de Mataba and Ecole Secondaire de Gaseke, both of which rated 97 percent in genocide ideology cases, the other nine schools were rated as follows: Groupe Scolaire de Shyogwe (95%), Ecole Secondaire de Mudasomwa (93%), EAV Rushashi (93%), Ecole Secondaire de Taba (92%), Groupe Scolaire de Kigeme (92%), Groupe Scolaire de Muhura (88%), College Marie Reine de la Paix (88%), IPK Kirinda (85%), while Ecole Secondaire de Tumba, registered 80 percent.

MP Mukabalisa told parliament that in 32 schools visited by the ad hoc commission, respondents said genocide ideology was rampant among students, teachers and school administrators.

“We found out that some school administrators and teachers are responsible for propagation of the genocide ideology among students,” she said.

The lawmaker also said that there was another category of schools where genocide ideology has manifested in the recent past, but students refused to admit its existence.
She particularly pointed out Ecole Secondaire de Nyamirama in Kayonza District, Eastern Province, where survivor students have on several occasions been stoned, and had their mattresses destroyed and clothes thrown in latrines.

Another school in that category is Groupe Scolaire de Karengera in Nyamasheke District, Western Province, where Genocide survivor students were once told that ‘in 1994, a drop of blood was shed by in July 2007, a bottleful of blood will shed.’

The select probe committee was set up in August after reports of cases of genocide ideology in Groupe Scolaire de Muhura on gross harassment of Genocide survivor students there.

The report, which is under intense debate in the Chamber of Deputies this week following its release on Monday, was presented by three probe team members because three others, including the ad hoc commission president MP Abdul Karim Harelimana, resigned from the Lower House about two months ago, to stand for the East African legislative Assembly (EALA).

Apart from Harelimana, others who resigned are Jacqueline Muhongayire and Claire Kayirangwa.

However, the three MPs who resigned from parliament continued the inquiry tasks to the end on the House’s recommendations.
Mukabalisa, who was initially the commission’s vice president, presented the report together with the other members, Alfred Kayiranga Rwasa and Francoise Mukayisenga.