I don’t harbour genocide ideology

PARLIAMENT - Education Minister Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya defends herself.
Mujawamariya (right), Murekeraho (centre) and Callixte Kayisire, who is charge of the Schools’ Curriculum in the Education ministry, at Parliament yesterday morning. (Photo/G. Mbanda)
Mujawamariya (right), Murekeraho (centre) and Callixte Kayisire, who is charge of the Schools’ Curriculum in the Education ministry, at Parliament yesterday morning. (Photo/G. Mbanda)

PARLIAMENT -The Minister of Education Dr Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya yesterday defended herself in the Chamber of Deputies saying she doesn’t harbour genocide ideology after MPs seemed to blame her for the alarming number of cases of the vice in schools.

Mujawamariya said the fact that there is prevalent genocide ideology in some schools does not mean that she as the custodian of education system in the country is a subversive politician.

“We are not behind it and let me say that we are devising tough measures to stump out the problem,” Mujawamariya told enraged MPs who accused Education ministry officials of failing to contain the ideology.

This was during morning plenary session.
A recent parliamentary inquiry revealed that in some secondary schools, genocide ideology cases is as high as 97 percent, a finding which has since sparked outrage among parliamentarians.

Mujawamariya’s defence came after some MPs, including Henriette Sebera Mukamurangwa, said that the problem could be prevalent in schools largely because education ministry officials might be harbouring the same ideology themselves.

A charged Sebera said: “Umwera uturutse ibukuru ukwira hose”, a Kinyarwanda proverb loosely translated to mean: ‘bad habits from the leaders spread fast.’

The MPs, who have been locked up in critical sessions in relation to the report released last week, accuse Education ministry of failing to curb the alarming cases of genocide ideology not only in secondary schools but also primary schools.

The report, which was compiled by six MPs since August, came up with disturbing findings including cases of anonymous letters (tracts) in several secondary schools.

Some writings carried hate messages against Tutsi and Genocide survivor students. For instance, in one case in ACEDI de Mataba of Gakenke District, Northern Province, the report indicated that the MPs found one anonymous letter reading: ‘Abatutsi ni inzoka, baraturambiye kandi tuzabica’, loosely translated to mean ‘Tutsis are snakes, we are fed up with them and we will kill them.’

In another school, Ecole Secondaire de Gaseke in Gicumbi District, Northern Province, several genocide-fuelling anonymous letters were found out, 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).

Other similar hate messages were also found to have been distributed in several schools, and MPs are disturbed that children aged between ten and twenty are involved in such subversive activities.

MP Connie Bwiza Sekamana warned Education ministry ministers – Mujawamariya and Joseph Murekeraho (State Minister for Primary and Secondary Education) – that they stand to blame in case the young generation embraces the same ethnic-based politics that plunged the nation into the 1994 Genocide, which claimed an estimated one million Rwandans.

“The (Education) ministry officials must take action now or be prepared to be held accountable for subsequent future happenings,” Bwiza warned.

The lawmakers were angered to know that certain school syllabi still carry theories that portray Rwandans in ethnic lenses.

They said that some school text books contain hate speeches of the late president Juvenal Habyarimana, whose government planned and perpetrated the 1994 Genocide.

The text books are said to be in Kinyarwanda language.
However, Mujawamariya insisted that although her ministry was aware of the existence of genocide ideology in some schools, it did not know that the problem had reached alarming levels as the report indicated.

“What we knew is different from what the ad hoc commission found out; we are going to take action in schools where the problem was found to be serious,” Mujawamariya explained.

She assured the August House that her ministry would partner with the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC), National Police and local authorities to deal with the problem.



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