Economy

Impunity fosters corruption in Burundi, watchdog says

Faustin Ndikumana “We should move from speeches by political leaders and sensitization campaigns to concrete actions to effectively fight corruption in Burundi”

Faustin Ndikumana “We should move from speeches by political leaders and sensitization campaigns to concrete actions to effectively fight corruption in Burundi”

“We should move from speeches by political leaders and sensitization campaigns to concrete actions to effectively fight corruption in Burundi. Awareness is still needed but it is not enough as the situation is becoming more and more alarming “, says Faustin Ndikumana, Chairman of the local NGO aiming at awakening conscience and changing Burundians’ mentality-PARCEM,on the occasion of the week dedicated to the International Anti-Corruption Day that started on 5 December.

Transparency International report ranked Burundi among the most corrupt countries in the world. The Burundi anti-corruption activist says the most affected sectors are the police, justice, customs, central administration, political parties, education and health.

“Corruption offenses are widely committed with impunity in the country.There is misappropriation of public property, money laundering, illicit enrichment as well as excessive fines imposed on some services. People launder their money and act as benefactors who contribute to development work, giving gifts to administrators to hide the obscure origin of their funds”, says Ndikumana.

He regrets that all this should have been fought through all initiatives that have been set up since long ago, especially through an effective national legal framework for good governance and the fight against corruption that the Government of Burundi has developed but which has not so far been implemented.

Ndikumana explains that the fight against corruption is always blocked by some groups of civil servants who constitute a resistance to the good progress of the initiated reforms that come to challenge their bad habit.

He says the government should use its power to destroy this resistance which hinders the effective fight against corruption in Burundi. “Every leadership should feel the need to protect the public property,” concludes Ndikumana.

The Government is willing to strongly fight corruption

Ernest Ndikumukama, Legal adviser to the Good Governance Minister says the government has shown its good will by elaborating two fundamental documents that guide the fight against corruption; one of them being the National Strategy for Good Governance and the Fight against Corruption.

For him, there are preventive and repressive actions to technically and effectively combat corruption. He says the repressive actions that should be carried out by the judiciary have not been satisfactory. He calls for the involvement of civil servants, members of civil society organizations and privatesector in the fight against corruption.

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