Rwanda: A young man dies after immolating himselfAdrien Kanyanzira | Category: News
Tuesday, 8 May 2012, Sadic Mutabazi, 18 years old young Rwandan immolated himself in Rubavu to challenge a situation that prevented him from earning a livelihood. The young salesman died from his injuries last Saturday, May 12 at around 11am at the University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (CHUK/UTHK).
Mutabazi Sadic burnt himself with a gasoline can after local police had confiscated the peanuts he used to sell to earn his living. This income was the only resource that enabled him to support himself.
In an interview with the BBC, Hassan Bahame, representative of the Rwandan authorities in Rubavu declared that “the goods had been confiscated due to non-compliance with applicable law on hygiene”. Note that the young Mutabazi was a street vendor of peanuts.
However, this version given by the Rwandan authorities differs from that of the young man’s mother, Mrs. Mbabayizura.
Mutabazi’s mother, said that her son, the eldest of her five children, had often expressed the situation on the market of Rubavu. According to her, the local police was asking for a financial compensation as a condition to let him do his business. Unless he made profits, Mutabazi was unable to honor his agreement with the authorities. He then would lose his right to sell his wares on the market.
“My son had already expressed his dismay and he was mainly fed up with facing a situation in which it was impossible for him to provide for us” Mutabazi’s mother continued. It is this situation that would have pushed her son to take action and commit this act of despair, on the eve of his 18th birthday.
Rwandan authorities said the young man “could have been taking a drug that would have led him to commit such acts.”
According to the online source “Rwanda Nziza”, the young man was taken to the hospital in Rubavu. The doctor in charge said the patient was burned at 80%. The young man did not have health insurance to enable immediate care and be transferred to the CHUK hospital. Rubavu hospital lacked the necessary equipment.
It is only when press and news agencies took the case, they successfully led authorities to agree on bringing the young man to the CHUK. Yet, the young man did not survive his burns and died.
This case recalls that of the Tunisian Muhammad Bouzizi whose death has been the source of what will later be called the “Arab Spring”.