Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) has said that investigations are underway to ascertain what happened following an incident in which the State Minister in Charge of Constitution and Legal Affairs Evode Uwizeyimana assaulted a security guard.
“Yes, we are investigating the case. We will look into the incident before making any conclusions,” the Spokesperson of RIB, Marie Michelle Umuhoza confirmed to KT Press, without revealing whether minister Uwizeyimana will be summoned.
Among other things, RIB is likely to review the CCTV footage at Grand Pension Plaza where the incident happened.
A quick apology over a ‘regrettable’ incident has not helped matters for Minister Uwizeyimana who is accused of misconduct and assaulting a security guard.
On Monday, a tweet by Joseph Hakuzumuremyi, a journalist, claimed that the flamboyant and outspoken Minister pushed and shoved a female security guard at Grand Pension Plaza, after she insisted that he goes through the security scanner.
The ISCO guard had reportedly not recognised the Minister, insisting that he goes through the checkpoint. Eye witnesses said an angry Uwizeyimana responded by pushing the guard out of the way, with the journalist claiming that she fell down upon being pushed.
Uwizeyimana quickly took to Twitter to apologize for his actions but the tweet did not go down well with many, mainly activists and feminists stating that the apology was not enough and Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) needed to take up the matter.
“I deeply regret what happened. It should not have happened to me as a leader and public official. I already apologized to the ISCO staff and I now do so publicly and apologize to the public as well,” the usually defiant official tweeted.
Sylvie Nsanga, a renowned feminist and activist said that what Uwizeyimana did was “horrible and shameful” and saying sorry was not enough. Nsanga said the Minister should be held accountable by RIB and the laws he is supposed to be a custodian for because the guard deserves justice.
Others accused the Minister of apologizing to save his public image and save his job but not because he is remorseful.
“This is unacceptable. Why would a whole public official go around behaving like this? What was so difficult going through the scanner? You should be exemplary. This only shows what you [do] to other vulnerable people behind closed doors if you can do this in public,” said Rehema Karera on Twitter.
“That said I don’t really think you are indeed remorseful. You are trying to save your PUBLIC image here otherwise you’d show the steps you have taken to apologise to the lady and ensure that this kind of thing will never happen again. Let’s all respect each other irrespective of our titles,” she added.
Others like Ruti James caused for the resignation of the Minister who is in charge of protecting the constitution and the country’s laws.
“You should resign otherwise you are shaming the entire cabinet! Leaders are seen as models and mentors in the society. If you can behave like this the only to go is to resign don’t wait for a Cabinet reshuffle,” Ruti said.
Others questioned the wording of his apology, questioning what he meant by “it should have not happened to me”.
“You deeply regret what happened or what you did? We are tired of constant Apologies that come out on social media to keep [your] reputations instead of changing your bad behaviours towards women… That ISCO staff is a woman and may be a mother,” said Francisca Mujawase.
The incident has divided opinion with some saying that the Minister deserves a second chance after apologizing but others say action must be taken. Another Twitter user claimed that it is not the first time this has happened. It was claimed that a similar incident happened at Kigali Heights.