RUSIZI—Barely a week to start Ordinary level National Examinations, a 22-year old candidate at Friend School Kamembe, in Rusizi has passed on.
Athanase Nshimiyimana, drowned in Lake Kivu on Thursday.
School sources say Nshimiyimana had gone swimming with a group of other schoolmates at Rutabagira landing site in Gihundwe, at the time of the accident.
Students with whom he had gone out said he drowned after swimming in deep waters.
“As a student who was with him …. I think he drowned after getting tired while swimming in deep waters which also had strong waves,” said Simeo Hakizimpfura.
His body was found floating on the shores of Lake Kivu on Friday morning.
Joseph Muhigirwa, the school headmaster, said that they had sent the student home to collect school fees balance but was shocked to learn that he had died while swimming.
“We (management) had sent Nshimiyimana to go home in Nyamasheke district and collect Frw4500 fees arrears in order for him to sit for his O-level National Exams,” said the headmaster.
However, the deceased’s parents blamed the school’s administration for their sons’ death. They argued that they were not aware of the fees balance.
“As the father of the late Nshimiyimana, I blame his death on poor and careless management of the school because how could they chase away my son just because of Frw4500,” Claver Hitimana, the deceased’s father wondered.
“They would instead have called us on phone to bring the said fees balance. On top of that the school knows that our government discourages chasing students due to schools dues,” he added, and threatened to sue the school.
Area residents who spoke to The New Times said that such accidents have previously happened there, involving students and local residents.
The most recent accident involved a primary six pupil, Patrick Muhirwa (13) of Muhari Primary School, who also died while swimming in the same area in October 2008.
Another senior four student at APEDUC Secondary School in Kamembe, also died while swimming at the same place late in August this year.