Dr. Kayumba accused of sexual assault, investigation underway

On 18 March 2021 at 12:52

Dr. Christopher Kayumba, former lecturer at the School of Journalism and Communication, University of Rwanda has been accused of sexually assaulting his female student and threatening her with destroying her future and any chance she could have to become a journalist in Rwanda.

Dr. Kayumba is among prominent academicians in Rwanda in the areas of journalism and Communication as well as an accomplished researcher.

He was a passionate teacher with deep understanding and experience which inspired his students.

He holds a PhD in Peace and Development Research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, MA in Conflict studies from the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, UK, a BA in Mass Communication and journalism, an Associate Degree in Journalism and a Diploma in Senior Media and Communications Management from Stockholm University.

He has often run well articulated and admired opinions in The East African and his media house, The Chronicles.

Apart from his brilliance as an admired senior lecturer, Dr. Kayumba’s behavior have been questioned following the circulation of a video that went viral showing him drunk and confronting security officers.

A video footage released on social media in 2018, shows Dr. Kayumba drunk confronting police officers appearing in their uniforms until he requested them to present the service cards.

Later on, he was reported attempting to storm Kigali International Airport being ill-drunk. It was reported that, Dr. Kayumba confronted security officials at the airport threatening to destroy the airport.

This led to his arrest in 2019 and handed one year jail term in July 2020 for ’causing disturbance’ at the airport including uttering words that he would "shutdown the airport".

He was later released after completing his jail term.

Sexual assault accusation

It has been few days since Dr. Kayumba announced the formation of his political party dubbed ‘The Rwandese Platform for Democracy (RPD)’ saying the forum seeks to ‘advance, and contribute to the development of a freer, democratic, just, secure and sustainably peaceful and developed Rwanda’.

The formation of his forum and cited political ambitions triggered mixed reactions that one of Twitter users called Kamaraba Salva narrated Dr. Kayumba’s sexual assault story on behalf of her colleague saying it was triggered by Kayumba’s claims of values he wants to advance yet his personality does not reflect any of what he claims he wants to offer.

“Rwandese Platform for Democracy? My personal experience with Christopher Kayumba is that what he is advancing is a mockery of who he really is. ‘A freer, democratic, just, secure, peaceful, and developed Rwanda’ are what Christopher Kayumba’s forum promises to ‘advance’; these are all contrary to his actions. He promotes neither a just nor a secure environment for others,” Kamaraba tweeted.

She went on to explain that her friend was assaulted by the man whose case, she said, was also reported to university staff.

“In 2017, when I was in my 3rd year at the University of Rwanda, I applied for an internship at Rwanda Broadcasting Agency. Christopher Kayumba was my lecturer then & while I waited for the response from RBA, I received a random call from him on a Monday morning. He said someone from Rwanda Broadcasting Agency reached out to him asking if he would recommend me for the internship. He further said, I had potential in the media industry and that I should immediately go to see him for advice as well as to get the recommendation letter,” Kamaraba tweeted.

She explained that her friend honored the appointment and went to meet with Dr. Kayumba where he experienced sexual assault.

“Filled with hope, I agreed to meet him. He directed me to Remera-Gihogere. Later, I found out it was his home. I didn’t think much of it since I, as well as other students of Journalism at the University of Rwanda held him in high regard.
When I arrived at his house, he seemed drunk. I decided to leave but he got physical. He pulled & pushed me on the couch trying to force me to sleep with him. I refused, he got verbally abusive & threatened to destroy my future & any chance I had of being a journalist in Rwanda,” reads the tweet.

Kamaraba went on narrating how her friend later managed to escape Dr. Kayumba who aggressively attacked her.

“Moreover, he gloated over the fact that he had power & he was willing to fail me at school. He went on reminding me that even if I reported him, no one would believe me due to the influence he has in the media industry & how he was one of the trusted lecturers at the University of Rwanda. After what felt like an eternity of emotional & psychological torture, I managed to grab my bag & ran off. He was not in the physical state to run after me but he asked his houseboy to stop me, claiming that I had stolen from him,” she said.

“Trying to convince the houseboy that I had not stolen anything, I poured down everything that was in my bag to show the houseboy that I wasn’t hiding anything and I quickly put them back & freed myself from the horror,” added Kamaraba.
As she explained, insults and drunk phone calls did not stop that the victim went to school and reported the incident to the Ag. Dean of the School of Journalism & Communication, Mr. Njuguna Joseph saying it was a difficult situation since she did not have any proof to present.

“I went to the University of Rwanda hopeful that I would be empowered & equipped to live out my dreams but instead, I was discouraged. Over the years I tried to disregard & forget the incident but such memories never go away. Sad reality is that it is happening. Many young girls end up falling victims in the hands of predator men who abuse their authority like Christopher Kayumba. Enough is enough!”
Kamaraba said her friend decided to leak such details because it would be helpful to other girls that might face similar situation.

“I have the courage to step forward now b’se it would hurt more to see young girls have their future robbed from them by people who are supposed to know better. Physical abuse may be seen, but psychological &emotional abuse are harder to be noticed & they are just as destructive,” she tweeted.

Kamaraba has also said that the victim reported sexual assault case to Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB

University knows the case

The former Ag. Dean of the School of Journalism & Communication, Mr. Njuguna Joseph has confirmed to IGIHE that the case was reported to him.

“It is true. She came to my office telling me that there is a lecturer who attempted to assault her. I promised her to speak to that person (Kayumba Christophe) but he used to spend long time without coming at school,” he said.

Njuguna explained that he didn’t ask Kayumba anything about the alleged assault because he was no longer reporting to school that he didn’t even take his calls.

“We didn’t hold conversations because I didn’t meet with him. He didn’t take phone calls, but I discussed it with my employers and asked them to engage with him. However, I am not aware if they did so. I verbally interacted with employers. I didn’t write a letter because I wanted to meet him but he did neither take my call nor come to school ,”said Njuguna.

The next time he met Kayumba, Njuguna explained, they only discussed other issues related to his immoral behavior he had been exhibiting at the university.

“When I got last chance to meet him, we discussed about other relevant issues regarding his behavior because he had indiscipline records at the university,” he noted.

IGIHE tried twice to reach out to Kayumba but did not take calls and never replied to our short message by press time.

The Acting Spokesperson of Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) has told IGIHE that investigation is underway.

“The case was filed at the beginning of March. RIB is carrying out investigation and gathering evidences,” he said.

Dr. Murangira has however explained that Dr. Kayumba has not yet been summoned.

“The basic step during investigation is to gather evidences, seek information from witnesses and summon the accused later,” noted Dr. Murangira.

Dr. Kayumba is among prominent academicians in Rwanda in the areas of journalism and Communication as well as an accomplished researcher.