Burundi: Ndabirabe-style macroeconomics and geopolitics

Burundi: Ndabirabe-style macroeconomics and geopolitics

Two videos released over the past week are making headlines on the Burundian web. The Right Honorable Daniel Gélase Ndabirabe, speaker of the lower house of the Burundian Parliament gives us a lesson in economics and geopolitics, even going so far as to say that “Europeans are starving” and that for the honor of solidarity “every Burundian should contribute food to come to the rescue of this Europe hit hard by famine”. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

Shortly before the release of this short 30-second video in which he addressed the population, another footage of February 18, on community work in the commune of Matongo in the province of Kayanza (northern Burundi) shows him giving a macroeconomics lesson to the local population.

As a pitchman, the Right Honourable, President of the National Assembly, this scholar from Kayanza, does not hesitate to say that “people come to Burundi to do business, because the value of the Burundian currency is higher than that of the currencies of the countries of the sub-region, even the Dollar and the Euro (sic!)”.

Yet the Dollar is trading at 3,780 Burundian francs today on the black market and the country faces a recurring currency shortage.

For “Ndasubiramwo-Man” or even “Wewe”, the lack of fuel, a very rare commodity in Burundi now – is truly due to the fact that “these people import it from us”. Since when does Burundi export fuel?

He goes further and demonstrate to the crowd who came that: “the Whites intend to keep us under their influence, prevent us from doing what we can do, then make us believe that we are poor”.

To top it off, “eating rabbit meat for a Burundian peasant is the notorious result of the greatness and stability of the Burundian franc”, according to the very sulphurous President of the National Assembly.

Pinned on the Burundian twittosphere, Ndabirabe’s remarks are qualified as purely political and propagandist speech. The reality on the various food product markets, to name but a few, shows the opposite.

Singing to the taxi driver who feeds his family on paid transport job and who has just spent three days queuing at a gas station waiting to be served in vain, that Burundi exports fuel-shows how that our leaders ignore the realities of the society in which they live.
Just like addressing peasants in Kayanza in these terms, one of the provinces with the highest birth rate in the country and where households prefer to alternate to cultivate their plot of land and where to eat only once is a chance in this province where more than 5,000 children have already dropped out of school due to family poverty, just for the first term of the current school year.

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