The parents of Shemu Irabizi, one of the street children recently burned to death in Kigali, have revealed that it was their child’s first time he experienced street life, during which he faced a tragic deadly night.
Born in Kigugu Village, Kamutwa Cell, Kacyiru Sector in Gasabo District, Irabizi, 18, was a primary 5 student at Groupe Scolaire Ste Famille.
He was born to Joseph Saburindi and Vestine Muhimpundu Vestine. Since Irabizi’s father died in 2015, he started to sleep in the neighboring homes and the school became less interesting to him since then as he attempted to drop out of the school and therefore opted to join street children to experience a new life although his mother was going to take him back home. He died three months since he dropped out of school.
His mother, Muhimpundu, who co-owns a nursery school with her daughter and Irabizi’s sister Marie Josee own in Impala Village, Rugenge Cell in Muhima sector, testified that the day her son was burned to death, she thought of going to take him back home but insisted “may be it was his last day as he was home doing domestic works before the incident”
His burial ceremony took place on Saturday, after community service, but his mother cried that he buried almost nothing, “ the body was like charcoal, they killed him so badly that he was turning into pieces”, she told Bwiza.com with too much sadness, tears shedding on her face.
Dushimimana, Irabizi’s sister, suggested that the government should consult parents before it decides to take street children to the training center where parents should have the last word on whether their children should or should not be taken away to the training base.
However, she also thinks that parents, too, would learn a lesson if tough decisions are made against them and started to keep a close eye to their children. « A parent can no longer stand patiently for an undisciplined child, as some let them do whatever they want and start to behave the way they want,” she said.
The government is looking to expand more training hubs, which is part of 2017-8 budget, according to Finance Minister Claver Gatete, when he presented the government’s new project before the parliament, despite some Members of the Parliament appearing not supporting it, thinking it could favor an increasing number of street children.
Deputy Ignacienne Nyirarukundo said, “Expanding Iwawa does not sound good, because it, like other similar hubs, was mandatory. They were established to assess the reason why they got experience street life to be able to take back to school those who dropped out, and take drug users to the doctor. But expanding these hubs seems to mean an increase of such issues,”
She added, “It is worrying, I think the budgeted money for this project would be added on agriculture sector, so that farmers get an improved produce to satisfy the factories and get street people to work in these factories instead of establishing more training hubs. There are technical schools around which they can join and stop studying in these hubs.
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