Kirundo: local authorities accused of facilitating the fraudulent exit of food, creating a deficit

Kirundo: local authorities accused of facilitating the fraudulent exit of food, creating a deficit

Apart from the drought which reduced the quantity of the harvest, food is fraudulently transported to Rwanda. Others take the road leading to the commercial capital Bujumbura to end up in Congo. Local authorities starting with the governor are singled out. They are said to facilitate this illegal traffic. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

An employee of a local NGO argues that a kilogram of beans had never cost more than 2000 francs during the harvest period like today.

Our sources in the districts of Bugabira and Busoni (province of Kirundo-north Burundi) specify that a kilogram of beans costs between 2200 to 2300 francs while it cost in this same period between 700 and 800 Burundi francs last year.

Local sources indicate that traders are raiding beans right after the harvest.

“Our crops are transported to Rwanda at night”, revealed a resident of Nyamabuye village in Bugabira district, bordering Rwanda.

There, according to the same inhabitant, a kilogram of beans costs 2000 Rwanda francs equivalent to more than 6000 Burundi francs.

“Traders bribe Imbonerakure (members of the CNDD-FDD youth league, the ruling party) and grassroots administration officials who guard small passages that lead to Rwanda”, reveal witnesses.

Other witnesses also mention “convoys of sacks of rice and coffee crossing the border at night” passing through Rugasa, Nyamabuye, Kiri in the district of Bugabira and Gatete, Sigu in the district of Busoni, both of which border with Rwanda.

Administration officials torched

“Governor Albert Hatungimana himself allows traders to monopolize harvests and sell them to other provinces or to the neighboring country”, said a resident.

“It’s worrying to always see trailers full of food leaving for Bujumbura.
Probably they go as far as the DRC”, laments an official from the town center of the province of Kirundo.

“To take from the province a quantity estimated at more than 500 kg, the permission comes from the provincial governor. Traders give millions of Burundi francs to this authority to have the approval”, accuses the official.

Lamentations are multiple among average civil servants and all accuse the governor of “allowing himself to be corrupt to fill his pockets”.

“Sometimes he fraudulently markets fuel, sometimes it’s sugar or cement”, says a source within the ruling party.

On December 30, 2022, during a public conference held in Kirundo province, President Neva acknowledged that a large part of crops is sold in neighboring countries including Rwanda and Tanzania.

“This creates a general rise in prices”, according to the Burundian head of state, who believes that authorities who promote this clandestine trade are “criminals”.

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