HUYE - As presidential campaigns were launched yesterday, authorities at the National University of Rwanda (NUR), announced that they had banned all forms of political activities at the university campus.
The varsity Rector, Prof Silas Lwakabamba, explained that the measure was taken by the university’s security committee to ensure a peaceful election period.
Addressing students and staff, Lwakabamba, said that the ban applies to all forms of campaigning, including wearing of clothing depicting party allegiance.
“The freedom to carry out political activities on campus has in the past been abused by students resulting in chaos on the university campus. Students and staff are free to engage in such activities but only outside the university campus,” said the Rector.
Last year, there were ugly scenes at the university as students drawn along religious lines were involved in verbal exchanges that threatened to degenerate into physical brawls.
Temperatures flared following controversial teachings by a Muslim-turned-Pentecostal Pastor during a religious conference held in March 2009.
Pastor Hussein Mubarak Paul, a Moslem turned Christian, infuriated the Muslim community at the university with his teachings prompting an open confrontation with Muslim students.
He was arrested and charged with divisionism, defamation and attack on religious freedom but was later released by Huye Court of Higher Instance.
Speaking about the August 9 elections, Aimee Mwizerwa, the president of the Student’s Guild, said that the students are calm but ready to exercise their constitutional right.
“We have mobilised students to participate in elections but we remind them not to be swayed and forget their studies,” she said.