Suppliers of fruit plants to be given half of owed money

In a press conference held this Wednesday 9, the ombudsman says suppliers of fruit plants will be given half of their money.

Edouard Nduwimana: “As a solution, the mediation decided that the complaining party would give up half of the amount claimed”

The government of Burundi owes BIF 5,061,280,790 for the supply of fruit plants since 2011.
Edouard Nduwimana, the Burundi Ombudsman, says that his institution has found the delay in payment is due to some irregularities and that the responsibility is shared between the government and suppliers. “As a solution, the mediation decided that the complaining party would give up half of the amount claimed. And both parties agreed”.

Mr. Nduwimana says the government agreed to pay an amount of BIF1, 737, 730, 250 after several discussions and mediation sessions with both parties. “The amount of BIF 793,178,900 has been subtracted from5, 061,280,790 and already paid to some suppliers by the government. After an agreement with the government and plant suppliers, the latter will be paid half of the remaining sum, that is BIF1, 737, 730, 250,” says the ombudsman.

Onesphore Manirabaruta, representative of suppliers in Bubanza and Cibitoke provinces asks the government and mediation not to impose taxes on this money. “We have gone bankrupt. This amount is not half of the expected money but less than it because there is an amount of money that was taken away for the payment of some suppliers. We want this money to be tax-exempt”.

Mr. Manirabaruta also asks the government to seriously deal with the issue and proceed with the payment as soon as possible. “This is an eight-year case, some suppliers have fled their homes, and others are living in terrible conditions because of the debts they owe everywhere. The government should put much effort and issue the payment as soon as possible, not later than in March”.

The ombudsman has asked the concerned ministries to initiate the procedures for payment. As a reminder, the president office via the Ministry of the Environment invited a tender for a project to supply fruit plants in 2010. In total, 60 associations and individuals have won the tender. Eight years later, they have not yet been paid.