Varsity cafeteria threatens to lock out students over debts

HUYE-, A privately run cafeteria at the National University of Rwanda (NUR), has threatened to deny food to over 2,500 students, effective next month, unless they pay an accumulated debt of over Rwf 100 million.In a letter dated April 21, 2011addressed to the Guild president of NUR, the CEO of Events Solutions, a company running the restaurant, warns that if the debt totalling to over Rwf 120 million is not cleared before end of this week, the students would not be fed.

HUYE-, A privately run cafeteria at the National University of Rwanda (NUR), has threatened to deny food to over 2,500 students, effective next month, unless they pay an accumulated debt of over Rwf 100 million.

In a letter dated April 21, 2011addressed to the Guild president of NUR, the CEO of Events Solutions, a company running the restaurant, warns that if the debt totalling to over Rwf 120 million is not cleared before end of this week, the students would not be fed.

The letter, a copy of which was obtained by The New Times, reads: “We want to inform you that after four months of operations without receiving any money, we have run out of means and therefore cannot afford to continue feeding students in the upcoming month of May.”

Events Solutions is now asking the university to pay at least Rwf 40 million for them to continue providing food to students during the next month.

“Unless we get the money we are asking for, we will stop (feeding students) on May 1,” Hubert Cyiza, the restaurant manager, said.

The university Rector, Prof. Silas Lwakabamba, said that he was aware of the debt, but insisted it would not close.

“The money we owe the restaurant is supposed to be provided FARG and SFAR,” Lwakabamba said in a telephone interview.

The Students Financing Agency for Rwanda (SFAR) and the Fund for support to vulnerable genocide survivors, (FARG) are the two organisations that provide allowances to vulnerable students.

The Rector added that FARG, had by yesterday, transferred part of its dues to the university’s bank account.

 “Normally, at the beginning of the year, there is some delay (in disbursement), but the two institutions (FARG and SFAR) confirmed that they are in the process of transferring the money,” Lwakabamba said.

The Rector pointed out that the university had previously paid Rwf 10m to the restaurant and promised to immediately pay another Rwf 10m for it to remain operational.

Theophile Ruberangeyo, the Director General of FARG, said that his institution has, so far, transferred Rwf 210m to the university’s bank account, to cater for the last semester.

“We are now in the process of disbursing the funds for this semester,” Ruberangeyo noted.

The cafeteria claims to have been feeding the students for the last four months, without any payment.

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