Makamba : the Prime Minister threatens to sack or degrade “corrupt” magistrates

Makamba : the Prime Minister threatens to sack or degrade “corrupt” magistrates

Last Friday, the Burundian Prime Minister visited Makamba (southern Burundi). In a meeting with locals, it was reported that justice in Makamba is so bad that the destitute never win cases. Cases of corruption have been cited up to the highest provincial court, in this case the Court of Appeal. Gervais Ndirakobuca threatened to sack or degrade “corrupt” magistrates. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

According to witnesses, the meeting led by the Prime Minister saw the participation of several inhabitants. They mainly accused local judges of being biased and corrupt.

“Almost all of the problems raised this Friday concern the lack of access to fair justice, corruption and poor management of the institution”, report witnesses who took part in the meeting.

For example, two young women accused court officials of giving a trial in a divorce case with their husbands while there was never a public hearing.

“[…], the Head of State instructed the President of the High Court to restore my rights but he has done nothing for more than 6 months”, complained to the Prime Minister , the victim. In June 2022, she seized President Neva, then on the move to Makamba.

Another elderly woman accused the president of the Makamba Court of Appeal of hiding her file for several months.

“She sent me several times either to Bujumbura or to the Bururi Court of Appeal while she had my file in her drawer. It’s too mean. Afterwards she gave me an appointment in two days. When I answered the appointment, she told me that I lost the case although I never appeared. There was never a public hearing. As I am poor , I cannot win a case at the Makamba Court of Appeal”, she told Mr. Ndirakobuca, tears in her eyes.

Almost all the speakers returned to corruption that plagues the judicial sector in Makamba.

“Here, there are even brokers in charge of collecting bribes for certain magistrates. They always show up in the courts and tribunals of Makamba as if they have a job. They call the litigants one by one and tell them that if they don’t go through them they can’t win their case”, said a litigant, flabbergasted.

Gervais Ndirakobuca deplored what is happening in the courts and tribunals in Makamba province.

“[…] magistrates who hide behind the so-called independence of the judiciary, you will never enjoy freedom as long as you remain corrupt. Such magistrates will be sent to lower courts instead of being promoted.
The others will be fired if they do not come to their senses”, he threatened.

In the recent past, judicial officials in Makamba province were promoted despite their incompetence, denouncing residents who believe that “if you are an influential member of the CNDD-FDD, we end up covering you up in one way or another”.

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