Posts tagged as: nkurunziza

Three Arrested in Operation Against Motorcycle Theft

Three men have been arrested in Nyabugogo, Nyarugenge District in connection with theft of a motorcycle.

The suspects were arrested on September 12 following investigations into the theft of a private motorcycle, registration number RC 890V, AG 100 type, on September 10 after suspected thieves broke into the house of one Theophile Nkurunziza – the owner – at night.

Police spokesperson for the City of Kigali, Supt. Emmanuel Hitayezu, said that after Nkurunziza reported the case, they immediately launched investigations.

“We received information about three people, who were looking for a mechanic to disassemble a motorcycle into spare parts. That’s how we managed to arrest the suspects red-handed in Nyabugogo Cell of Kigali Sector,” said Supt. Hitayezu said.

“We are now formalising the process to give the recovered motorcycle to the rightful owner, and ensure that everyone connected to this theft is brought to justice,” he added.

He commended the role of the general public in fighting theft and other crimes in general.

“This is the third case related to motorcycle theft in two months. Because of the good partnership with the public, all the three motorcycles have been recovered and suspects arrested. That’s what community policing standards for… we value the role the public plays in ensuring safety and security and bringing criminals to justice,” he said.

Rwanda

Uganda Golf Open Attracts Stars

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Catholic Bishops Call for Inclusive Dialogue

By Lorraine Josiane Manishatse

In a communiqué released on 10 September, Burundian catholic bishops call on Burundians to engage in an inclusive dialogue for the great interests of the nation to prevent war.

“We would once again insist on the inclusive dialogue that must be prioritized for the great interest of the nation for blocking the way to all those who opt for the path of war,” Burundi catholic bishops said.

They said Burundians have suffered so much from war casualties and no responsible citizen can accept that the country plunges once again into war. “Everyone knows that disagreements between politicians have resulted in mutual exclusion, killings and assassinations,” they said.

They also said this situation has forced many Burundians to flee the country to neighboring countries where they live in terrible conditions. “Among them there are politicians, law enforcement and security officials, economic operators and leaders of various civil society organizations,” they said.

Bishops said that Burundians cannot work together to build their homeland together since some are forced to stay abroad. They called on all Burundians to join their forces to build a better country. “Those who are in power or those who seek to conquer it and ever all Burundians are like travelers who share the same road.

Everyone needs the contribution of the other, “according to the bishops of the catholic church in Burundi.

They said they fear if the inter-Burundian- dialogue is delayed, the problems the country is facing will become more complicated.

On 6 September , Burundian Ombudsman, Edouard Nduwimana announced that the last round of the inter-Burundian dialogue of Arusha, led by former Tanzanian President, William Benjamin Mkapa will be held by October. He said the people prosecuted in Burundi will not be invited to this peace talks.

Burundi has plunged into a violent political crisis since President Pierre Nkurunziza announced a controversial run for a third term, which he won in contested elections in July 2015. Since then, a dialogue between the Burundi Government and the opposition has been demanded by the UN, AU, EU, EAC and other partners to restore peace. A proper dialogue never took off. A series of meetings organized by the EAC that Burundi’s leaders committed to -but failed to attend- initially.

Burundi

It’s ‘Home, Sweet Home’ for Returning Burundi Refugees

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Officials Should Be Tried for ‘Crimes Against Humanity’ – UN Commission

Geneva — Burundians “at the highest level of the state” and in its security services should face trial at the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, a UN panel investigating more than two years of human rights abuses in the central African state said today.

The three-member Commission of Enquiry said it had “reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed and continue to be committed in Burundi since April 2015.”

The violent political crisis, sparked when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would run for a third term in office, has been marked by a heavy-handed crackdown by security forces on street protests. It has all but extinguished hopes that Burundi will embrace a peaceful democratic transition in the wake of a civil war that cost some 300,000 lives between 1993 and 2006.

“These crimes are taking place in a context of serious human rights violations, including extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests and detention, torture, sexual violence, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and enforced disappearances,” the commission, created by the Human Rights Council, said in a statement accompanying its final report.

The report said rights to association, freedom of movement, as well as an independent media had been stifled: Opposition parties could not meet or act freely, their members were under constant pressure, and a large number had been arrested tortured or killed.

The result of three months of investigations and 500 interviews, the report did not name names, but the commission has drawn up a confidential list of suspects.

The abuses are attributed to the government’s army, the police and the security services, as well as the paramilitary youth wing of the ruling party, known as the Imbonerakure.

Burundi’s national intelligence service (SNR) and the Burundian National Police were cited in a large number of the witness statements as the principle perpetrators.

“[The SNR agents] accused me of being a rebel,” one witness said. “Behind me, an [SNR agent] was interrogating another detainee… . He received a bullet in the leg and was bleeding. The [SNR] agents beat him as if he was a snake while he was bleeding… [The SNR agent] who was interrogating me said: ‘You see, you do not have enough strength to resist that. You are going to die if you do not admit what you know.”

The commission also documented several cases of sexual violence, including rapes, sometimes of women in front of their loved ones. Men were also victims of rape; others tortured sexually.

“They beat me many times in the genitals,” one man said. “They told me to bend over, arms level with my knees, and kicked me in the genitals. Because of the blows inflicted, I haven’t been able to have sexual relations since… It’s like I’ve become impotent.”

The commission’s president, Fatsah Ouguergouz, said: “We were struck by the scale and the brutality of the violations. We also noted a lack of will on the part of the Burundian authorities to fight against impunity and guarantee the independence of the judiciary. As a result, there is a strong likelihood that the perpetrators of these crimes will remain unpunished.”

In April 2016, the ICC announced it had launched a “preliminary examination” of the situation in Burundi – at the time more than 430 people had reportedly been killed. This ongoing step, which under ICC procedures determines whether a full investigation should take place, focuses on “killing, imprisonment, torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence, as well as cases of enforced disappearances that have been allegedly committed since April 2015.”

In October 2016, Nkurunziza signed legislation calling for Burundi’s withdrawal from the ICC, notification of which was later that month sent to the UN secretary general. Under the Rome Statute, actual withdrawal takes place a year after such notification.

But under the statute, specifically article 127, a state’s withdrawal does not end its obligation to cooperate with the ICC on issues that were under the court’s consideration before that withdrawal, nor does it oblige the ICC to stop its work on that country.

The Burundian government rejects the commission and did not allow members to visit the country. Interviews were conducted in neighbouring countries, to where hundreds of thousands of Burundians have fled since 2015.

On 1 September, Burundi’s parliament announced it would set up its own commission, made up of 12 lawmakers, to look into the UN commission’s findings.

The UN commission’s call for ICC prosecutions comes days after an armed rebel group, the Burundi Popular Forces (an offshoot of FOREBU), warned it would step up attacks to pressure Nkurunziza to join inclusive mediated talks with the opposition in neighbouring Tanzania.

“Renewed talks had been envisioned for the end of July, but that time has come and gone without any progress,” commented Dominique Fraser, a research analyst at the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect.

“It’s unclear how much power and influence [FOREBU] actually wield, but an escalation of violence would likely spell trouble for Burundi and could heighten the risk of mass atrocities,” Fraser told IRIN.

Thijs Van Laer, programme manager at the International Refugee Rights Initiative, agreed, warning that any renewed violence “could be followed by repression by the Burundian government”.

“Real regional pressure on the Burundian government is the preferred option, as it could prevent such renewed open violence and repression, potentially followed by a new increase in ongoing refugee flows,” he added.

“Currently, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania are putting all their eggs in the basked of mediation by former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa, without really pressuring Nkurunziza to participate in it,” Van Laer said.

“They should increase pressure on government and opposition, not just to participate in talks, but also to halt abuses against political opponents and common citizens, and to support real accountability for crimes.”

According to Alex Fielding, a risk and crisis management consultant with 4C Strategies and a freelance analyst on African affairs, “violence hasn’t ‘forced’ the government into negotiations in the past.

“Only serious UN-backed, regional pressure led by countries like South Africa, with a credible military threat, will force Nkurunziza’s hand, something that looks unlikely at the moment.”

Patients Receive Aid to Celebrate Eid Al-Adha

By Michel Nkurunziza

Over 300 vulnerable patients at University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (CHUK) received food and sanitation materials worth Rwf1.5m on Eid al-Adha day.

The support was provided by the association of Rwandan Female Muslims named, “Intwari mu Mihigo” on Friday.

The Director General of CHUK, Dr Theobald Hategekimana, said the support is not only limited to physical but also is part of counselling patients who seem to live in loneliness.

“We call on social protection partners to continue working with us so that vulnerable patients are helped. We have committees in charge of social affairs at the hospital who help identify such needy patients. It is not only physical but also part of counselling patients,” he said.

He explained that there are some patients who do not have care givers and therefore the support is timely.

“We commend this group of good Samaritans because they inspire other people to also help vulnerable groups. We have seen others paying Mutuelle de Sante for needy patients,” he added.

Aisha Mukakomite, the coordinator of Intwari mu mihigo association, said the target is to mobilize more funds so that more vulnerable patients get support.

“We have different groups in the association who alternate to provide support to the patients. With this Eid al-Adha celebration, we wanted patients to also share the joy with others by getting food and sanitation materials,” she said.

Triphine Bihoyiki is an old woman who has spent a whole year in CHUK and welcomed the support since she is very poor.

“I came from Rutsiro District. I arrived here in March last year and until now I get food and other support from well-wishers. My only remaining child cannot always be here because he is looking after the home,” she said.

Rwanda

U.S.’s Decision to Deny Genocidaire Appeal Bid Welcomed

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Rwanda: Patients Receive Aid to Celebrate Eid Al-Adha

By Michel Nkurunziza

Over 300 vulnerable patients at University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (CHUK) received food and sanitation materials worth Rwf1.5m on Eid al-Adha day.

The support was provided by the association of Rwandan Female Muslims named, “Intwari mu Mihigo” on Friday.

The Director General of CHUK, Dr Theobald Hategekimana, said the support is not only limited to physical but also is part of counselling patients who seem to live in loneliness.

“We call on social protection partners to continue working with us so that vulnerable patients are helped. We have committees in charge of social affairs at the hospital who help identify such needy patients. It is not only physical but also part of counselling patients,” he said.

He explained that there are some patients who do not have care givers and therefore the support is timely.

“We commend this group of good Samaritans because they inspire other people to also help vulnerable groups. We have seen others paying Mutuelle de Sante for needy patients,” he added.

Aisha Mukakomite, the coordinator of Intwari mu mihigo association, said the target is to mobilize more funds so that more vulnerable patients get support.

“We have different groups in the association who alternate to provide support to the patients. With this Eid al-Adha celebration, we wanted patients to also share the joy with others by getting food and sanitation materials,” she said.

Triphine Bihoyiki is an old woman who has spent a whole year in CHUK and welcomed the support since she is very poor.

“I came from Rutsiro District. I arrived here in March last year and until now I get food and other support from well-wishers. My only remaining child cannot always be here because he is looking after the home,” she said.

Rwanda

U.S.’s Decision to Deny Genocidaire Appeal Bid Welcomed

The Government has welcomed the US judiciary decision for denying an appeal bid by Beatrice Munyenyezi, a woman serving… Read more »

Golf – Kenya Win Regional Golf Challenge, Rwanda Finish 4th

By Hamza Nkuutu

Dar Es Salaam — Kenya have emerged champions of this year’s East African Golf Challenge after returning 19.5 points following three days of action at the Par-71 Gymkhana golf course in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, but Rwanda have to win another year to attempt to end their jinx.

Hosts Tanzania, who led after day one, finished in second place with 17 points, three ahead of Uganda, winners of the last three consecutive editions, while Rwanda, seeking a first regional title, finished fourth with 10.5 points, an improvement by one spot from last year in Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia and Burundi finished fifth and sixth with 6 and 5 points respectively.

Leading by two points ahead of second-placed Tanzania going into the Singles match-ups in final round on Saturday, Kenya continued from where they left off the previous day, scoring 6.5 points which came courtesy of six wins and a draw.

Kenya’s wins came through Agil Is Haq, who beat Burundi’s Ndereka 7/6, Samuel Njoroge defeated Sefu Mcharo of Tanzania 7/5, John Karichu beat Ethiopian Yonatan 3/2, Muthai Kagwe was 2up against Kamulandwa of Uganda.

Their other wins came from Denis Saikwa defeated Rwanda’s Allain Niyonkuru 8/7, while Alfred Nandwa beat Ronald Otile 4/3 in a match that ended in tears for Uganda’s top player-Kenya’s Mike Kisia shared the point with Tanzania’s Amani Saidi.

After ending a four-year mini drought, Kenya’s coach John Van Liefland said, “I’m really excited to win here, the guys played some great golf.”

“Tanzania surprised us in the opening round but we managed to make up the ground on the second, getting 7.5 points yesterday (Friday) was really very important for us. We’re now looking forward to defend it at home next year,” added the Dutch man.

Rwanda managed 3 points out of a maximum 8 in the final round courtesy of Emmanuel Rutayisire, who beat Ethiopian Elias Aboye 3/2, Celestin Nsanzuwere beat Burundi’s Toyi 5/4 and Aloys Nsabimana defeated another Burundian Jean Simbagoye 2/1.

Emmanuel Nkurunziza was beaten by Ethiopia’s Binyam Selassie 6/4, team captain Leonard Nkurunziza lost to Tanzanian R. Mtweve 2up, Uganda’s R. Baguma was 1up against Francois Habimana, while James Ndikumana lost to Abbas Adam 6/5.

“We’re disappointed not to achieve our set target but there has been some improvement in the team from last year-it has been very touch tournament due to the competitiveness of all teams,” Rwanda’s coach Jules Dusabe Mutesa told Sunday Sport.

Uganda missed the opportunity to become the first team to win four regional titles in a row but their Team Manager Oscar Semawere didn’t seem bothered.

He said, “We won it three times in a row, so we can’t be very disappointed not to make it four, let others also win after all, it is just a sport.”

The four-day tournament, which started on Wednesday, was sponsored by Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and Peacock Hotel. Next year’s edition will be staged on Kenya.

Overall standing

Kenya – 19.5 points

Tanzania – 17.0 points

Uganda – 14 points

Rwanda – 10.5 points

Ethiopia – 6 points

Burundi – 5 points

Visually Impaired Appeal for Equal Job Opportunities

By Michel Nkurunziza

There is need for more advocacy to ensure people with visual impairment are not discriminated in the labour market and social protection programmes for them to avoid begging culture.

The appeal was made at a news conference organised by Rwanda Union of Blind in Kigali, last week.

Dr Patrick Suubi, legal representative of the Union, said employers need to give a chance to visually impaired people to demonstrate their ability.

“Employers ignore applications from the blind. But they should give us jobs to prove our potential. We have also experienced cases of institutions refusing to provide internship opportunities to the visually impaired,” he said.

He called on government to increase efforts to ensure social protection programmes benefit all visually impaired people, including the illiterates.

“The blind have potential. Some have acquired technical skills, others are working in private sector. We have teachers, lawyers, livestock keepers and others. This is a sign of our capacity and therefore, we should not be discriminated in job placement. All this will eradicate begging culture,” he said.

He, however, said there are no statistics of unemployed visually impaired people yet it is necessary for planning purposes.

Dr Betty Mukarwego, a visually impaired teacher at the University of Rwanda, said, unlike today discrimination was rampant in schools previously.

Until 2008 there was no student with visual impairment at University in Rwanda, she said.

She, however, said most of them remain without jobs due to poor attitudes of employers.

She noted that without education many people with visual impairment resort to begging.

Julienne Ugiriwabo became blind after completing her university studies and spent a whole year in hospital but didn’t regain her sight.

Being an orphan, she has lived alone for the past four years in rented premises. She earns income from different businesses in Kigali city.

Cracking down on beggars

Police last week warned that fines could be imposed on beggars.

In a statement, Police described begging as a bad culture which constitutes a crime.

Police say beggars seen across the country include young children pretending to be orphans and poor, disabled persons, among others.

Police argue that some disabled persons, such as blind people turn to begging despite having skills that could be put to use to develop themselves under different social protection programmes established by government.

Begging, besides undermining Rwandan values, could derail national development by discouraging self-reliance spirit, and encouraging prostitution, theft and robbery, it said.

Begging is punishable under the Penal Code attracting punishment from eight days to below six months in jail while those posing as vulnerable people to beg could be punished with a jail term between six months to one year on conviction. Under the penal code whoever entices a child to beg risks imprisonment of between one and two years.

Corruption Watchdog Calls On President to Cancel Request of U.S.$ 32.6 Million Loan

[Iwacu] In a letter sent to Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza on 9 August, the chairman of the Observatory for the Fight against Corruption and Embezzlement (OLUCOME) expressed his concerns about a credit equivalent to US% 32.6 million to be granted by the Chinese Bank ‘Exim Bank’. This appropriation will be used to complete the digital television migration project.

2020 – Is President Nkurunziza Already at it Again?

analysisBy Lorraine Nkengurutse

The government claims Burundi is safe, that political disagreements have been resolved, and that the people want term limits removed ahead of 2020.

Two years since Burundi was plunged into violent political crisis, there are two diametrically opposing narratives being told about the current situation.

If you listen to the government, the country has recovered from the clashes and mass displacements that engulfed it from 2015. Things are now secure and back to normal, they say.

“Burundi has gained peace and stability,” said President Pierre Nkurunziza on a visit to Tanzania last month. His Tanzanian counterpart, John Magufuli, similarly commented: “I urge Burundians to remain in their country. I have been assured the place is now calm.”

However, listen to local human rights groups or international observers and a very different picture emerges.

Earlier this month, the UN Security Council expressed its “deep concern” over Burundi’s worsening humanitarian situation. In June, a UN commission of inquiry emphasised the “persistence of serious human rights violations in a climate of widespread fear”. Meanwhile, a recent report by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) claimed the ongoing crisis has now left at least 1,200 dead and seen the imprisonment of 10,000 people for political reasons.

This disagreement is not just a battle over narratives, but over the actions now needed to move Burundi forwards.

Burundi’s crisis

Burundi descended into crisis in April 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would run for a controversial third term. Mass protests ensued, followed by a failed coup in May. Despite claims the move was unconstitutional, Nkrununziza went on to contest and win the July 2015 elections.

Violent attacks and assassinations followed. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced, news outlets were shut down, and foreign journalists expelled.

In response to this deadly turmoil, several international and regional organisations demanded that the Burundian government and opposition engage in a dialogue to restore peace.

Proper talks, however, have never taken off. Despite arranging four rounds of negotiations, regional mediators from the East African Community (EAC) have failed to get the government and opposition at the same table. The ruling CNDD-FDD insist that they will not negotiate with members of CNARED, the main opposition coalition in exile, accusing them of participating in the failed May 2015 coup.

“The process is moving slowly owing to the reluctance of the Government of Burundi to talk to its opponents,” said former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa, the lead facilitator of the negotiations, in a statement this May.

Earlier this month, a delegation close to the government reportedly held near-secret talks with representatives from the opposition in exile in Finland. Some are optimistic that this suggests a revival of the talks, but the government distanced itself from the reports and the outcomes remain to be seen.

Internal talks

In Mkapa’s recent statement, he also expressed particular concerns over the government’s demands to “repatriate” the dialogue to Burundi. He explained that the CNDD-FDD is now resisting the externally-mediated talks, claiming that security conditions have been met and that questions around the constitution and 2020 elections have already been answered internally.

Indeed, on 12th May, the government received an 86-page report submitted by the National Commission for Internal Dialogue (CNDI) on these political matters. The body had been established unilaterally by the regime in October 2015 in order to consult the population. The researchers surveyed the opinions of 26,000 citizens and came up with recommendations.

Foremost among them is a proposal to change the constitution. According to the commission’s chair, Bishop Justin Nzoyisaba, “The majority of Burundians consulted support the suppression of the presidential term limits and stand for the amendment of the constitution”.

This apparent finding has led to a shift in the government’s focus, from the peace talks to the 2020 elections. Upon receiving the report, President Nkurunziza appointed a national commission to propose constitutional changes. In June, Burundi’s Ombudsman organised political retreats to discuss the outlook for the 2020 polls, the political and security situation, and the possibility of amending the constitution.

Furthermore, on 1 July, the anniversary of Burundi’s independence, Nkurunziza launched an election fundraiser. He called on citizens to help raise money so that the country would not have to rely on international support as was the case in 2015. “They promised to help us organising 2015 elections, but they suspended their funding just one week before the elections took place,” he said.

Removing term limits for Burundi 2020?

The government’s insistence that Burundi is stable and its growing indifference towards external peace talks have alarmed regional mediators.

“The [ruling] Party does not see any logic of continuing with the Inter-Burundi Dialogue to Burundi because the National Commission for Internal Dialogue (CNDI) has already finalized everything,” said Mkapa. “This volte-face in the thinking of the ruling Party surprised everybody and was viewed as a set back to the on-going peace process.”

Opposition and civil society activists are also critical of the government’s approach and plans.

Jean Claude Nkundwa, a local conflict resolution expert, says the government is deliberately trying to avoid external involvement. Amongst other things, he says that the Nkurunziza administration’s intention is “to exclude political opponents in exile from 2020 election process”.

Charles Nditije, chair of CNARED, also claims that the government is trying to shrug off observers and deceive the Burundian people and international community into believing that the past disputes have already been settled. “The government plans to distract us from our commitment to resolve the current political crisis,” he says.

According to the UN, there are over 200,000 internally displaced persons in Burundi. Three million people are in need of humanitarian support. And over 416,000 Burundians are seeking refuge in neighbouring countries and are too afraid to return.

The worry now is that Nkurunziza is taking advantage of the very uncertainty created by his 2015 bid for power in order to try it all again in 2020.

2020 Elections – Controversial Contributions

By Pierre Emmanuel Ngendakumana

President Nkurunziza calls on Burundians to contribute to the 2020 elections. Three years before this important appointment, the spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior speaks of a duty to safeguard national sovereignty.

Obviously, Burundian authorities are ready for anything. They are determined to organize the 2020 elections without the “finicky” funding from Western partners. The call for contributions for fundraising has had the desired effect.

On Monday, August 7, Pierre Nkurunziza, Head of state, went to the central bank, to make a BIF 5 million cash deposit. He took the opportunity to call the Burundian population to follow in his footsteps.

The President of the Republic speaks of a patriotic gesture. “An expressive sign of a country’s independence lies in its ability to mobilize for the organization of elections through the contributions of its people.”

For the Burundian president, a country deprived of institutions is subject to chaos. Depending upon the capacity of each one, Burundians can contribute from BIF10 up to BIF 100 million. “We want the fundraising account to be well stocked in 2020”.

He also recalled the 2015 experience. Just a week before the elections, partners withdrew from the electoral process. He says nearly 70% of the means for holding the previous elections came from the contributions of the population. “Burundian people showed political maturity.”

He says he and his family do not stop there. This is just the beginning. He plans to contribute up to four times.

“A contribution = a duty”

With reference to Article 73 of the Constitution, Thérence Ntahiraja, Spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior urges Burundians to follow the example of the Head of State. “Everyone has a duty to contribute to the preservation of peace, democracy and social justice.”

It is not the argument that he lacks. Everyone knows the existence of Burundians who have not yet understood democratic principles. “In collaboration with some foreigners, they seek to gain power by force. This is evidenced by the abortive coup of 2015. “He says the period of coups d’état is over.”No one thought about the possibility of an attempt to overthrow democratic institutions in Burundi.”

He said partners channeled financial assistance in support of demonstrators and “plotters of the 13 May 2015 coup.

For him, the gesture of President Nkurunziza is part of safeguarding national sovereignty insofar as it contributes to the holding of elections.

Mr. Ntahiraja says Burundians have been pleading for the opening of this bank account. “In fact, this is one of the requests from the inter-Burundian dialogue led by Bishop Justin Nzoyisaba.” In this regard, this spokesman says politicians expressed the same concern in the meetings of the Forum of political parties.

He also cites the report of the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) which notably recommends the contribution of Burundians to the organization of the 2020 elections under acceptable conditions.

He added that it has repeatedly been one of the recommendations of politicians’ workshops, including those held in Gitega province in October 2016 and last April as well as the one held in June in the capital Bujumbura. He also mentioned the Kayanza retreat which was organized by the office of the Ombudsman.

>>>Reactions

Nancy-Ninette Mutoni: “An act of support for democracy and national sovereignty”

This commissioner in charge of communication within the ruling party Cndd-fdd says the approach of the President of the Republic is an act of support for democracy and national sovereignty: “The party thanks all Burundians who have understood that their democratic destiny will not wait for the help from outside and have already contributed to this noble action. She encourages those who have not yet done so to join the movement.

She concluded by urging all the Bagumyabanga (militants of Cndd-Fdd) to follow the example of the President of the Council of the Sages and serve as an example to others in the accomplishment of this citizenship gesture.

Abel Gashatsi: “Everyone will contribute according to their means”

The president of Uprona party welcomes the initiative of President Nkurunziza. Mr Gashatsi recalled that some donors who were supposed to finance the 2015 elections withdrew at the very last minute. It is also a good reason to call for contributions in order to avoid any unfortunate eventuality. Furthermore, as it is not compulsory, everyone will contribute in accordance with their means. This is for the sole purpose of holding peaceful elections in 2020.

Tatien Sibomana: “Only the exit from the current crisis is a priority”

For this political actor, it is not yet time to think about the electoral process. What is urgent now is to find a solution to the current crisis: “The number one priority would be resolving the crisis”. He says the only way out is to engage in an inclusive dialogue. Should the impoverished population be bled while it is struggling to survive? He concluded: “Solving the crisis will allow the thaw in cooperation what will give room for peaceful elections.”

Faustin Ndikumana: “This is an extra-budgetary contribution”

For the president of the local NGO Parcem, an internal dynamics of self-financing of the 2020 elections is good. “This is part of so-called sovereignty spending.” However, this contribution should not be binding because it is an extra-budgetary one. He says the citizen’s contribution is part of the payment of taxes. 20% of the consumption budget of each citizen goes into the coffers of the State. According to him, the funds for the preparation of elections must be included in the budget. Faustin Ndikumana wonders the extent to which each citizen would be called to pay their small contribution in a context of impoverishment. Hence, the need to assess what is required to organize credible elections likely to get Burundians out of this political crisis: “Otherwise we will have elections whose results will be challenged, thus creating problems in addition to those we are currently facing.”

Venant Hamza Burikukiye: “A way to encourage people”

For this activist of the Civil Society, this is a good example from the Head of State. “True to himself, he always walks the talk.” The gesture is a way of encouraging all the authorities of the country to do the same.

Written by Egide Nikiza, Hervé Mugisha, Agnès Ndirubusa, Christian Bigirimana and Renovat Ndabashinze and translated by Pierre Emmanuel Ngendakumana

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