Two primary school girls jailed over Genocide ideology

Two pupils from Busanza Primary School in Kicukiro District have been remanded at Kigali central prison commonly known as 1930, over genocide ideology related case.

Two pupils from Busanza Primary School in Kicukiro District have been remanded at Kigali central prison commonly known as 1930, over genocide ideology related case.

The two female pupils; Odila Tuyisenge, 15 and Joseline Mukankubito, both Primary six pupils from Busanza were jailed after they threatened to kill their Tutsi schoolmate, calling her a cockroach. The incident allegedly occured early June this year, but the suspects were detained in August.

In an interview in his office on Thursday, Busanza Primary school head teacher, Shabudatara Mbanza, told The New Times that the affair began when one female  pupil, Alice Mukazitoni, 14, reported to him that her fellow pupils were threatening to kill her. Mukazitoni is a genocide survivor.

“I remember I had completed a teachers’ meeting when this young girl came to me with a sad looking face. She told me that she was very scared because of her classmates who were threatening to kill her,” he said.

“I was very shocked with what she told me. Everyone was scared to hear this from young children like these,” he said.

According to Mbanza, it all started when Mukazitoni was playing with Mukankubito and Tuyisenge and then she (Mukazitoni) kicked a ball to one of them.

That since then, whenever they would be on the way home, the two would threatened to kill Mukazitoni using harsh words such as ‘Tuzakwica wa nyenzi we’ (we shall kill you, you cockroach).

“This was heartbreaking not only to this young girl but also to me as an adult,” Mbanza said.

The head teacher tipped Kanombe police to intervene and carry out investigations. Apparently, the suspects confessed after they were arrested.

In an interview just minutes after the suspects appeared before Nyarugenge Court of Higher Instance, Odila Tuyisenge confessed having committed the offence.

“They accused us of Genocide ideology because we called Mukazitoni a cockroach,” she explained. Both suspects are still awaiting their sentences.

Kanombe police commander could not be reached by press time.

The Busanza head teacher also mentioned a recent case where a six year-old pupil from a neighboring school intimidated a classmate threatening to kill him because he was a Tutsi.

“When this kid was asked where he got to hate Tutsi, he said that his parents taught him that a Tutsi is someone with long nose and a killer,” Mbanza narrated.

Last year in December, a Parliamentary commission discovered an alarming rate of Genocide ideology in schools. The commission also revealed that their investigations had shown that children were being incited by their parents and teachers.

The commission summoned the then Minister of Education, Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya (now Minister for Gender and Family promotion) to explain the issue and was blamed for having taken no measures to prevent such developments.

Busanza Primary School, a mixed school, has about 1,830 pupils.  

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