9 January 2013

Rwanda: Ombudsman Petitioned Over Girubuntu Primary School

The row between Girubuntu Education Centre, a local organisation and A Partner in Education (APIE), an international non governmental organisation from the UK over ownership of former Girubuntu Primary School has reached the Ombudsman's Office.

Girubuntu Primary School, located on two hactares of land in Kabeza Cell, Kicukiro Sector, was built by A Partner in Education (APIE), an international non governmental organisation from the UK. The organisation then donated the school to Girubuntu EduGirubuntu Primary School was built by APIE and later donated to Girubuntu Education Centre, but a row between the two parties erupted after the former requested to re-own the land on which the school is located, last July.

Thereafter, APIE took a decision to change the school administration and management; something that also saw the school's name changed to Umubano Primary School.

Founding members of Girubuntu Education Centre, including Eugene M. Rudasingwa consider the decision by AIPE to be against and violating their organisation's rights.

"We have decided to seek help from the Ombudsman's Office as we believe that the decision that was taken by APIE is not lawful; and for that case, we have forwarded all our documents that confirm we own the property," said Rudasingwa.

He pointed out that among the documents that the organisation has presented include the Memorandum of Understanding signed by representatives of both parties in 2010.

Rudasingwa urges that the MoU signed with Joanna Mann, as the Country Representative APIE, confirms that Girubuntu Education Centre owns the property.

The property sits on two hectares. The school has 300 registered pupils.

Officials from the Ombudsman's Office confirmed to that the case has been registered.

"We have that case here. After hearing from both sides, we shall carry out our investigations," said an official who preferred anonymity as he is not allowed to speak on behalf of the office.

An email sent to The New Times by Kate Hannon, the Country Director of APIE, indicated that their decision was based on the "actions taken by Girubuntu over the past two years". These actions were not specified.

Meanwhile, the former administration of Girubuntu Primary School has started works in another location in Remera, to put up classrooms so as to temporarily enable the 300 pupils start school.

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