Police identified the teachers currently detained at Gatsata Police station, as Christine Mukaremera, 29, and Theoneste Niyonshima, 37.
The Police spokesperson for the City of Kigali, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Marie-Gorrette Umutesi, said the two teachers committed the offenses separately.
“On September 4, at about 2 pm, Niyonshima assaulted a Primary Six pupil called Eric Iradukunda for disrespecting him and injured him on the eye,” she said.
Although Niyonshima claims that he caned Iradukunda with a stick and in the process, the child fell in a plastic food storage container, which injured him on the eye; the student told Police that the teacher punched and injured him on the face leading to a swollen eye.
In a related scenario, Mukaremera is also accused of seriously assaulting a 10-year old Primary Five pupil at the same school.
On September 11, at about 11 am, Mukaremera slapped Divine Irakoze repeatedly on the face. Irakoze, who was crying and pleading for mercy bit his tongue in the process.
Irakoze, who can hardly eat, is currently getting medical treatment. It is said that Irakoze entered in the class where Mukaremera was teaching, to pick a bloom. Mukaremera then charged at Irakoze with slaps for entering her class.
“Disciplining a child is different from assaulting a child; the latter is a crime punishable under article 121 of the penal code,” CIP Umutesi said.
The article states that “any person, who willfully injures, beats or commits any serious violence against another person, commits an offense.” It further specifies that if the offense is committed against a child or a person unable to protect himself or herself because of his or her physical or mental state, the offender is liable to imprisonment for a term of more than five years and not more than eight years and a fine of between Rwf1 million and Rwf2 million.
If assault or battery has caused illness or non-permanent incapacity to work, the penalty increases to between 10 and 15 years, and a fine of between Rwf3 million and Rwf5 million.