The University of Rwanda dismissed an outspoken lecturer over “concurrence of disciplinary faults” that are against the values of a public servant and are in violation of professional values, ethics and obligations of an academician. This happened in mid August 2020 and has so far started a new chapter of his life.
Aimable Karasira has been teaching Information Communication Technology courses at the University of Rwanda college of Science and technology for more than 15 years.
His popularity started back in 2009 having been a music rapper as a new career. He later appeared in interviews with various media outlets, especially those working from abroad. During such interviews, he was often critical of the government.
Karasira later created his own YouTube channel named “Ukuri Mbona”, that can be translated as “The Truth as I see it” where he often gives a platform to different people and leaders who are yet to be registered political parties.
In a letter dated 14 August seen by The Campus News and signed by the University of Rwanda’s vice-chancellor, Professor Philip Cotton, Karasira was dismissed following a letter from the Ministry of Public Service and Labour early on 12 August 2020, and after the issuing of a report from the internal disciplinary committee. Both the letter and the report, Cotton said, recommended Karasira’s dismissal from university as “the highest administrative sanction because of concurrence of several disciplinary faults”.
Those “faults” included the “expression of attitudes and opinions through controversial statements made publicly using various media channels and particularly statements that are counter to professional values, ethics and obligations as an educator,” said Cotton in the letter.
On top of that, Karasira was accused of “spreading information intended for inciting people to dislike or dishonor [your] institution and public institutions in general”, an action which violates article 4 of presidential order no 45/01 of 30/06/2015 establishing the code of professional ethics for public which obliges the public servant to “always respect public institutions, policies and programs of the government”.
The university also accused Karasira of spending a considerable amount of time in non-constructive paid and non-paid activities outside of the university that were in violation of the code of professional ethics for public servants.
According to the vice-chancellor, Professor Philip Cotton, Karasira also carried out work-related assignments given to him with negligence, notably delaying the uploading of teaching materials on the university e-Learning platform and failure to submit his PhD research proposal.
“Considering that there is no circumstance in your favour to mitigate the above listed faults, considering that there are aggravating circumstances notably recidivism and concurrence of several disciplinary faults, I regret to inform you that you are dismissed from your employment at the University of Rwanda with immediate effect,” the letter concluded.
Karasira has denied all the allegations of poor performance and says his records show that he received a score of well over 70%, which is the required mark for public employees.
“I have a proof that I never performed poorly ever since I worked for the university. My performance has always been above 80% and all this is recorded,” Karasira said.
Karasira continued saying that his dismissal originates from his controversial views he has been expressing over a period of time on a range of issues such as government failure to fight poverty and inequality, and its resistance to freedom of expression.
He said that he knew in advance that a plan to fire him was being forged and was ready to start a new chapter.
He said that what happened to him is injustice and that he was going to seek legal redress.
“I intend to seek justice, I will take the case to courts, all the accusations are baseless and I hope that will be proven in courts,” he said
His plans are to use his current YouTube channel as a source of earnings and seek employment later though a group of people are raising funds through the Go Fund Me platform.