Politicians interpret differently CVR chairman message

In a one-week retreat held in Ngozi Province from 8 January, the chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has warned the members of the commission to not reveal any information without an official permission and avoid having ties with the former commission’s team.

Kefa et Georges Nikiza

On 8 January, Pierre Claver Ndayicariye, the chairman of the commission reminded the members of the commission that it is strictly forbidden to reveal any information related to the activities of the commission without an official permission. “Reporting any information will require an authorization from higher officials who appointed us. They told us that all truth is not good to be revealed,” says Ndayicariye.

He has also warned every member of the commission having ties with the former team that they would better break them. “For those who have connections with the former team who are no longer working for the commission, it would be better if they break them off,” he says adding that he who will be found having ties with them shall be relieved from their duties as a result of professional mistake. “You shall not say you were accused of ethnicity, race and region… you are warned,” he says.

Burundian politicians give different interpretations of his message. George Nikiza, Executive Secretary of the National Rally for Change-Ranac says it is normal to not reveal “professional information”. “Such a commission must protect sources of information, victims and perpetrators and keeping the secret is normal,” he says. He, however, adds that it is not reassuring at all if the commission must ask permission from the government to reveal the truth.

Concerning the relationship between the new team and the former one, Mr. Nikiza says that the chairman of the commission is exaggerating. “If they have the truth to confide, will they be forced to shut up?” he wonders. For him, CVR chairman should let the members of the commission look for information everywhere.

As for Keffa Nibizi, chairman of Frodebu Nyakuri party, CVR chairman would refer to the law governing the commission. “The commission must submit a report to the President of the Republic and the National Assembly at the end of its term,” he says.

Mr Nibizi says the warning would have been given to prevent any information from being disclosed before the report is submitted to the authorized bodies.

Concerning the relationship between the new and former team, Mr. Nibizi says someone may think that there was something wrong between the two commissions. He, however, says that as chairman of a commission, he has to make sure there isn’t any leak of information.