People claim to get voting cards one day before deadline expiration

One day before the end of a one-week extension granted by the Independent National Electoral Commission(CENI) to some citizens to withdraw their voting cards at the offices the of Communal Electoral Commission (CECI), several people deplore that they have not yet received their cards.

People queuing up at Ntahangwa office to withdraw voting cards

This chance was given to citizens who were not able to withdraw their voting cards during the campaign of issuing them which was conducted from 30 April to 4 May, 2020.
“I have been coming to Ntahangwa CECI office every day since Monday to take my voting card but I have not yet received it,” says a woman in her fifties living in Gihanga Commune of Bubanza Province in the west of Burundi.

She indicates that she spent more than 5 hours queuing up but could not see anyone issuing those cards. She wonders why they refuse to give them their voting cards when in fact it’s their right to have them. “We must enjoy our right to vote, ” she says.

Jean Muzima, a resident of Kamenge neighborhood in Ntahangwa Commune, asks CECI agents to tell them the reasons behind the confiscation of their voting cards.

“We have been here since 5 a.m. We don’t see anyone issuing voting cards. May they tell us what they want to do with our cards,” says Muzima.
He asks the Independent National Electoral Commission to organize a campaign for issuing these cards in different polling centers for the population to get them.

Térence Bizimana, chairman of the Independent Provincial Electoral Commission in Bujumbura, says that only five CECI agents are available to distribute voters’ cards to those who did not withdraw them during the time limit that was fixed by the CENI.

“CENI had recruited several agents to distribute these voter cards to citizens during the card issuing campaign but people did not come to take them. They come overwhelmingly after the deadline expired,”he says. “They must learn to follow the timetable established by the CENI,” he adds.