Society

Twa people in Burundi: “We want to be fully integrated in institutions”

Also called indigenous people, the Twas state that they are not fully represented in various institutions of the country as it should be. They want the Constitution to include their participation percentage in each sector- by Yves Didier Irakoze

Hon. Evariste Ndikumana: “Issues of indigenous people must be dealt carefully by Burundian authorities; it is the government’s mission. In return, it’s up to us to help the government improve our own living conditions by understanding first our own problems.”©Iwacu

Hon. Evariste Ndikumana: “Issues of indigenous people must be dealt carefully by Burundian authorities; it is the government’s mission. In return, it’s up to us to help the government improve our own living conditions by understanding first our own problems.”©Iwacu

According to Honourable Evariste Ndikumana who is also an indigenous person, Twas in Burundi don’t really take part in various institutions at the same level as other ethnic groups.“The Constitutional Law in Burundi mainly concerns Hutus and Tutsis. Twas are considered like another ethnic group of people from Burundi and don’t have the same privileges as other Burundians,” points out Honourable Ndikumana. He goes on saying that the Constitution says 60% of Hutus and 40% of Tutsis in various institutions but never indicates the percentage of Twas. They are co-opted in some domains unsystematically.“Twas are always lagging behind or forgotten. They are always considered in the last position. Even in the institutions where they are members, the number is still insignificant,” declares Deputy Ndikumana.

According to him, there are also some gaps in the Communal Law.
“For instance in Kirundo, the northern province of Burundi, they have got one member from UPRONA party who has been co-opted. He should have been appointed like others and not come to replace someone who didn’t want to become a member of the Communal Counsel,” states Hon. Ndikumana.

“It’s not a favour but a right”.

According to Honourable Evariste Ndikumana, being active in political parties’ activities to have a high position or post means nothing for indigenous people. To him, it is not a favour but a right to any citizen and not for a particular group of people. He mentions that they are not satisfied though they have got some representatives in various institutions. They want and need more Twas in all sectors.“We’ve got representatives of Twas in Parliament, East African Community, Earth Commission, Government Inspection and some Communal Counsels and not anywhere else. We are not satisfied of that rate. Belonging to institutions is not a favour but a right for everybody,” he highlights.

Concerning the issue that indigenous people do not take part in institutions because there is a small number of Twas who have been to school or skilled, Hon. says that they are mistaken because according to him there are many Twas who are qualified now.

Need of a change

“Issues of indigenous people must be dealt carefully by Burundian authorities; it is the government’s mission. In return, it’s up to us to help the government improve our own living conditions by understanding first our own problems,” declares Hon. Ndikumana. He concludes that the Constitution Law should change as soon as possible. According to him they will issue a written note containing their wishes and claims.

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