Rwanda: Une école détruite pendant que les élèves sont en classe
Fred Ndoli – TNT, March 4, 2011
About 125 pupils of Kigali Starlight School were left in shock as their school was demolished by Kimironko sector authorities on Wednesday.
The school is owned by Seed of Hope Association and run by Hope Mutesi, who said that she never got a chance to discuss with the authorities what the problem was.
"I just got the demolition letter two days back. If I was warned or advised before, I would have complied with whatever instructions they would have given me," she said.
Mutesi explained that she has all necessary documents authorizing her to operate the school, including a letter from the Ministry of Education.
She added that she was also in possession of a letter from Gasabo District authorizing her to carry out construction works on the school.
Mutesi said the construction had cost over Rwf30 million.
When The New Times reached the scene on Wednesday, the demolition was going on while pupils were in classrooms studying.
The sector leaders at the scene said the school was demolished because the school authorities did not seek permission before they started construction works.
"We are demolishing several illegally constructed structures, and this one is encroaching on the roadside. The owners of the school do not even have a construction permit," said Robert Habimana, the Executive Secretary of the sector.
"They have to stop pupils from studying because the status of the school is confusing, it started as a nursery school and it is now a primary school."
Habimana said the school was supposed to start operating after completing the construction works.
"You cannot continue with the construction while pupils are studying, this is not allowed," he noted.