“Good to celebrate, but identify challenges first!”

On the eve of the celebration of the national day of communes on 6 August, the local NGO–PARCEM organized this 3 August a press briefing to give some solutions to different challenges observed in communes.

Faustin Ndikumana: “The population should be involved in the accounting meetings to follow up all the communal development projects.”

Faustin Ndikumana: “The population should be involved in the accounting meetings to follow up all the communal development projects.”

“A commune is the showcase for the development achievements. However, some challenges are still observed and need to be tackled given that the communal fund amounting to BIF 500 million has been suspended ”, states Faustin Ndikumana, the chairman of PARCEM; the association engaged in changing people’s mentality.

Ndikumana goes on to say that the celebration of paramount importance should not be limited to simple folk events. “This national day should be a great opportunity to meditate on how to overcome different challenges existing in the communes”, he adds.

PARCEM chairman indicated in the press briefing that the obvious disconnect between reference documents of the central and municipal planning needs to be handled. “A mismatch between specific activities of the communes and the planned objectives as well as the competition between communes lack quintessence. This limits the traceability of contributions of municipalities at the culmination of right databases and references contained in the core document”, he says.

Moreover, the lack of enough qualified human resources is a huge challenge related to the current situation of communes. “Recruitment remains a political issue in some communes and administrators do not have transportation means. For Ndikumana, it is very important that the population attend the accounting meetings to be aware of the way their communes are developing. “They should contribute in the monitoring and follow-up as well as the fight against corruption, economic embezzlement and impunity”, he underlines.

Ndikumana suggests that Burundi government organize a whole week dedicated to the commune for deep analyses and sincere debates to raise all challenges and find solutions.

In the statement issued on 2 August by the Interior Minister, its spokesperson, Terence Ntahiraja indicated that the national celebration of communes is an opportunity to establish performance contracts of elected local officials, improve monitoring and evaluation of performance contracts as well as material, financial and human resources. “It is also an occasion to acknowledge those who have exceptionally committed themselves to communal development”, he says.