More than 300 high school students have been suspended from a school in Ruziba, outskirts of Burundian capital Bujumbura, last Friday for scribbling on the photo of President Pierre Nkurunziza in textbooks.
Speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity on Thursday, a parent said after the discovery of doodles on the photo of Nkurunziza in a humanities book, “management drove all the grade 8 students (between 14 and 16 years) away since Friday and said they will resume classes after those responsible for the crime were pointed out.”
The management of the Ruziba I Municipal Basic and High School discovered that forty books used by students of five Grade 8 classes had the photo of President Nkurunziza damaged in so many forms.
Yesterday (Wednesday), during a meeting with management, we asked for forgiveness and proposed to purchase new textbooks, but the management would not listen. It's terrible.
In some books, the eyes of the president had holes while in others, the picture had doodles and derogatory inscriptions drawn on them.
“Yesterday (Wednesday), during a meeting with management, we asked for forgiveness and proposed to purchase new textbooks, but the management would not listen. It’s terrible, we do not know what will happen,” said the parent .
The director of the institution, Yves Marimba, assured AFP that a solution has been found and was not able to tell when school will resume for the students. The head of the Kanyosha area, Abdul Bampoye, declined to speak on the subject.
However, a teacher explained to AFP that everyone is afraid because “it is the SNR (National Intelligence Service – which is under the presidency) who took the matter in their hand and their soldiers in Ruziba came to lock all Grade 8 classes.”
The Ruziba sub-district in the Kanyosha area, south of the Burundian capital, is considered a stronghold of the main opposition Party.