Minister of Interior warns those who don’t want to contribute to 2020 elections

The response given to the complaints of the Confederation of Trade Unions of Burundi-COSYBU on Saturday, 13 January by Pascal Barandagiye, Minister of the Interior is unequivocal: “We intend to hold a dialogue with trade unionists. But, that they do not pretend to hinder the contribution process.”

Pascal Barandagiye: "The contribution to the elections was requested by Burundians themselves"

Pascal Barandagiye: “The contribution to the elections was requested by Burundians themselves”

According to him, “Burundians themselves have proposed to give their contributions to the elections”.

Minister Barandagiye talks about the dialogue organized by the National Commission for the Inter Burundian Dialogue-CNDI towards the population arguing that it is a usual process, “The same process took place in the past. It is not new.”

He also says the Constitution requires everyone’s support for the promotion of democracy. It would be incomprehensible to avoid it while “even foreigners” contribute to Burundian elections. He invites, however, those who have the motive ” for evading this civic duty ” to report it to him by correspondence.

Gabriel Rufyiri, chairman of the Observatory for the Fight against Corruption and Economic Embezzlement (OLUCOME), calls for the respect of the law. In fact, he says, the Constitution, the law of public finances and the communal law are clear about such contributions. He says “the contribution to the elections” is planned in the budget laws since 2016.

For this civil society activist, “forced contribution” is not a good solution. He urges the government and trade unions to opt for a social dialogue.

The Nursing unions (SNTS and SYNAPA) had released a joint statement on Wednesday, January 10, denouncing the “compulsory” nature of these contributions. They requested a dialogue.

Written by Edouard Nkurunziza and translated by Bella Lucia Nininahazwe