In a letter signed by the three claimants, they say that the act of resignation was only superimposed on them by the mayor where they found the letters drafted for them to sign.
“To the mayor of Nyagatare District, we ask you to place us back in our education jobs and ignore the letter you drafted for us and forced us to sign on 02/02/2018 stating that we resign for our personal reasons yet we still love the job and we are able to do it,” reads part of the letter copied to and received by three government ministries and other institutions last Friday.
The three teachers in the letter are Enid Uwimana, Gaspard Ntaziryayo and Dorothee Mukapeti but one of the teachers has revealed to IGIHE that at least 46 teachers were trickily invited to the district office for a regular security meeting.
“We were told to be at the office at 6 am for a meeting but there was no meeting until 1 pm when district officials flanked by security forces grabbed our mobile phones and started receiving one by one in the office telling each of us the allegations we had to apologise for. We found there resignation letters already drafted for us and were forced to append our signature. We were threatened to be jailed, some of us signed and those who refused were detained in the transit centre. The showdown went up to midnight,” narrates the teacher.
Though only three have signed the complaint, the source knows other nine teachers who are off jobs now while the fate of others among the 46 remains unclear.
The victims were allegedly fired because of the revelations they made about the saga that heated up in the district last year over paying ghost teachers and paying bigger remunerations than what some teachers’ qualifications deserved.
Nyagatare Vice-mayor in charge of Social Affairs, Domithille Musabyemariya, told IGIHE on Sunday that she is not aware of these teachers’ issue.
“I haven’t yet seen that letter, that’s new to me… or you can ask mayor, he might be aware of it or they gave him that letter but to me, that’s strange,” she said.
However, some of the teachers say Musabyemariya was in the team that forced them to sign resignation letters.
Our efforts for a comment of Nyagatare Mayor George Mupenzi were fruitless by press time as his mobile phone was offline.