Economy

Only Burundi Central Bank to buy and sell gold

The Minister of Energy and Mines has banned any gold business in the country. Only Burundi Central Bank is allowed to buy and sell gold. A local corruption watchdog applauds the decision but doubts its implementation.

Come Manirakiza, Minister of Energy and Mines: “The purchase and sale of gold by shop counters is now suspended,”

“The purchase and sale of gold by shop counters is now suspended,” said Come Manirakiza, Minister of Energy and Mines in a press release issued on 25 November.
He says “only the Burundi Central Bank (BRB) buys gold produced by cooperatives and mining companies.”

Mr Manirakiza urges shop counters having gold in their stocks to sell them immediately to the national bank.

Gabriel Rufyiri, chairman of OLUCOME, a local corruption watchdog, applauds the government’s decision. He believes it will revalue the Burundi currency.

He also says that this measure will allow BRB to build up gold reserves.
“I think the Minister made this decision to fight against the mineral fraud reported in the country in order to repatriate foreign currencies resulting from the sale of gold,” says OLUCOME chairman adding that the new measure will allow the government to have trade balance.

Mr Rufyiri, however, says that this measure violates the principle of free competition. He explains that some foreign investors operating in mineral sector risk going back to their counties of origin.

He is also concerned that gold fraud may intensify. “It is a good measure but it is taken hastily. It lacks accompanying measures to be implemented. The situation may get worse as gold is sold by high personalities,” says OLUCOME chairman.