By Fred Gashema
Sacked former University of Rwanda lecturer Aimable Karasira is begging for support “to cope with life” after he was dismissed by the university administration.
“I will no longer be getting a monthly salary as I used to,” cried the former lecturer in the Faculty of Computer Science, in an interview on “Real Talk”, a local YouTube channel, shortly after receiving his dismissal letter. The comment prompted many to ask: “When Karasira was saying all the things to drag the university into disrepute, why didn’t he think of the consequences, is he a child?!”
The dismissal last week of Karasira, a man that over the years has gained a reputation as an unstable, and highly controversial figure, followed several public quarrels with UR Administration. The university, among other things, faulted Karasira for “constantly expressing attitudes and opinions, through controversial public statements that run counter to professional values, ethics and obligations as an educator.”
In the dismissal letter, signed by Prof. Philip Cotton, the university’s vice chancellor, said there were “no circumstances in Karasira’s favor to mitigate his faults”, stressing that his last administrative sanction was dated as 10 December 2019, plus recurrence of several disciplinary sanctions. It was further revealed that Karasira, among his many issues, was fired for “spreading information intended to incite people, and that dishonored the university, and public institutions in general.”
Karasira has on numerous occasions featured in videos that distinctly are seen as undermining the gains Rwanda has made over the last 26 years, whether in fighting the ideology of genocide; whether in unity and reconciliation; whether in economic and social progress. “I wouldn’t mind so much if anyone made criticism, but in constructive, informed ways,” said a social media observer. “But with Karasira it is just endless negativity; dishonest, negative opinions.”
Other Rwandans find it problematic that Karasira usually finds audience on online platforms dedicated to undermining Rwanda’s security – most notably “Radio Ubumwe”, or “Radio Itahuka”. Anyone that has listened to a talk show on any of these channels knows they are the voice of terrorist groups like RNC and others. Officials of RNC, and others of groups like FDLR, FLN and so on have regularly used “Itahuka” to try to incite hatred against the Rwandan administration, and violence.
But now, after the university has cut him loose “for acts completely incompatible with an educator’s mission,” Karasira now is claiming that he is “feeling remorseful.”
He has been wailing, on the Real Talk YouTube channel, that he was “fooled by enemies of Rwanda.” He continued: “there were some elements that used to fool me; they would tell me what to say about Rwanda and I fell in that trap!”
This has prompted much public laughter. “So, a whole professor couldn’t realize the wrongness of what he was doing, but realizes it when he loses a salary?” asked a viewer that saw the video, adding, “let him sit, chill and realize that UR was even very patient with him. Let him learn from his faults.”