Rwanda: Minister Under Fire Over Alleged Assault

4 February 2020

Evode Uwizeyimana, the Minister of State in charge of Constitutional and Legal Affairs, has come under fire on social media for an alleged assault on a security guard at a city mall.

An eyewitness reported that, during the incident, the minister did not want to walk through a metal detector as is required of members of the public before accessing public buildings.

This was despite the security guards' request.

The incident allegedly ended with the guard on the floor after she was reportedly shoved by Uwizeyimana.

This paper is yet to independently verify this allegation but the minister took to twitter Monday evening to own up and issue a public apology.

"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," his apology post read.

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. https://t.co/QtTeeId1Hn

- Evode Uwizeyimana (@EvodeU) February 3, 2020

His apology triggered mixed reactions, some welcoming the fact he acknowledged his fault and apologised while others demanded he steps aside and be held accountable.

Some questioned the authenticity of his apology, with others saying his action was a demonstration of abuse of power on the minister's part.

News about the alleged assault was first reported on twitter by one Joseph Hakuzwumuremyi, who claimed that the minister had shoved the guard to the ground after he declined to be checked at the entrance of Grand Pension Plaza in Kigali's Central Business District.

"Did you accidentally push the lady at the security check point or you simply couldn't be checked because of your title in the Government? I hope you learn a reasonable lesson from this," Emeritha Uwanyirigira responded to the minister's post.

1-Mama nangayi??Hon. Minister, with all respect we owe you,this is a sacrilege, horrible&shameful.U know law than us,your sorry doesn't make u clean @RIB_Rw should make u accountable bcz This woman need justice&let us know how she should proceed ??????

- Nsanga Sylvie (@NsangaSylvie) February 3, 2020

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. #RwOT

- Ruti James (@JamesRuti) February 4, 2020

"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," his apology post read.

You deeply regret what happened or what you did.? We are tired of constant Apologies that come out on social medias to keep yo reputations instead of changing your bad behaviors towards women... That Isco staff is a woman and may be a mother

- Mujawase francisca (@ciscatotti) February 3, 2020

Rehema Karera posted, "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 out titles. And I salute this man for bringing this thing here. We need to expose public officials who go around acting like this because of who they are.... I feel for this woman. It is indeed a shame."

Giovanni-Silas wrote: It can happen to anyone. If he was alone, they confused him as simple citizen. That's why it's advisable to move with bodyguards as an official.

"I don't know what exactly happened but it happened to me once a few months ago on a bad day to get angry on 1 security agent - I think it can happen to most of us to have a very bad day, I did apologise to the guard after, after all he is doing his job for my security and is aid crap for it," George M. Hermann said.

cmwai@newtimesrwanda.com

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