MUHANGA — The district council on Saturday voted to suspend Pauline Niyigena, a women councillor allegedly over genocide ideology.
The decision follows February 2 meeting of MPs led by Denis Polisi with district leaders, in which Polisi asked the district executive committee to act on matters raised against Niyigena; by a recent report of parliament detailing prevalence of genocide ideology in several schools across the country.
"If one of the leaders was cited among those harboring genocide ideologies, the council has to act now before it is too late to break the network of promoting genocide ideology. It doesn’t give a good image of the district leaders. Do something," Polisi advised.
According to a district security report, coucillors accused Niyigena of verbally insulting Genocide survivor students in 2006 at ACODES Bulinga Secondary School –during her tenure as Headmistress.
She is quoted to have said: "As long as you (survivors) continue to remember your families, I will likewise remember the financial loss you have caused me."
She reportedly made the utterances after a tender scandal involving survivors’ school uniforms that the students rejected but the headmistress was asked to refund the school funds.
Following the scandal, Niyigena was subsequently arrested and detained on grounds of genocide ideology but later released by Nyamabuye prosecution due to lack of evidence, the report said.
During Saturday’s meeting, there was a heated debate on the decision, creating divisions among the members. Where as some urged for tough action, others said there was no supporting law to back their decision.
Those against urged that the allegations were investigated by the prosecution whose findings have never been released, thereby complicating the matter.
While those supporting a tough action, insisted that Niyigena’s conduct has tainted the image of the local leadership and continued failure to act would undermine the integrity of the district leadership.
Francis Xavier Mbabazi, the council chairman said: "The council’s decision may be hard to take but it is important to resolve the problem on the basis of misconduct leveled against her-which doesn’t reflect the integrity of the council and district leadership."
Apparently, further investigations would continue into her conduct.