OLUCOME critical of allowances to be given to outgoing president

The National Assembly has this 21 January adopted a draft bill governing the status of the Head of state after his term in office. Referring to different advantages granted to him, the local corruption watchdog (OLUCOME) says lawmakers didn’t take into account the economic growth of the country.

Gabriel Rufyiri: “Lawmakers didn’t take into account the county’s economic growth before approving the draft bill”

Gabriel Rufyiri, chairman of OLUCOME says the draft bill providing allowances to the former president has been adopted for individual interests.

“It is clear that lawmakers didn’t consider the living conditions of Burundians and the economic growth before approving the draft bill,” he says adding that Burundi is among the last four countries in the world where corruption is rife.
Mr. Rufyiri pleads for the suspension of this draft bill. “Burundi didn’t promote transparency, good governance and equity.”

The draft bill adopted by MPs this Wednesday provides several allowances to the outgoing president. After his term in office, the Head of State will benefit from a house of very high standing, an allocation amounting to BIF one billion, an amount increased by MPs while the Council of Ministers had suggested BIF 500 million.

Article 6 of the bill stipulates that during the first seven years following the end of term in office, a former Head of State will benefit from a monthly pension equal to the wage granted to the two deputy-presidents of the Republic in office.

After the expiration of the first seven years, he will get a monthly pension equal to the allowance granted to a Member of Parliament until his death if he is not in the public service.

The Head of state will also benefit from stewardship equivalent to one third of that granted to a Prime Minister in office.

A former Head of State elected by direct universal suffrage should also benefit from a stewardship equivalent to that of a Deputy President in office.

In the first seven years after his term in office, the government provides to the Head of state a palace of very high standing built in a locality of his choice, a staff and office of very high standing, a security service as well as an escort of six vehicles and other advantages.

Article 7 of the same bill stipulates that the government will continue to provide for the needs of his spouse and minor children up to two thirds of the pension that would be granted to the deceased in accordance with the law in case of the death of a former Head of state.
Aimée Laurentine Kanyana, Minister of Justice who defended the draft bill in the National Assembly has said the allowances only concerned former Heads of state who were democratically elected or elected through direct universal suffrage.