Land allocated to ruling CNDD-FDD in Gitega province arouses controversies

The Cabinet analyzed on 11 July a draft decree on the allocation of land to the ruling party in the town of Gitega Province. “CNDD-FDD party plans to erect a large building that will comprise a worship center, conference room and a place where other major events will take place,” says Philippe Nzobonariba, Spokesperson for Burundi government.

Centre GitegaMr Nzobonariba says the draft bill was presented by the Minister of Transport, Public Works, Equipment and Territorial Development. “CNDD-FDD Party had applied to the ministry of Urban Land Management for that land in the town of Gitega Province,” he says.

According to local residents in Gitega central province, that land which is estimated at 2 ha is located in Magarama neighborhood near the presidential palace.

Abel Gashatsi, Chairman of UPRONA party, says the ruling party has the right to apply for a land. “It’s normal as long as the legal procedures of the land code are respected,” he says.
Léonce Ngendakumana, Deputy Chairman of Sahwanya FRODEBU party says “it is a confirmation that we are in one party-state system and clear proof that Burundians are being moved towards a single church supported by CNDD-FDD party,” he says.

Ngendakumana also says all the decisions, including this one, taken in violation of the principles of good governance will be automatically canceled by a new government which will replace that of the ruling CNDD-FDD.

Gabriel Rufyiri, chairman of OLUCOME, a local corruption watchdog, says the decision is unconstitutional. “The Cabinet has violated article 9 of the Constitution which stipulates that public property is sacred and inviolable,” he says.

OLUCOME chairman says “it is not understandable how a political party should apply for 2 ha land for the building of a worship center whereas it is not regulated by the church rules”, he says.
Mr. Rufyiri says the National Assembly should summon the Minister of Good Governance to throw more light on the issue. “It is a disguised way of diverting state property”, he says.

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