Bujumbura : the ministry in charge of security launches an Olucome workshop but its agents suspend the activity

Bujumbura : the ministry in charge of security launches an Olucome workshop but its agents suspend the activity

In the morning of Thursday March 30, the Olucome (Observatory for the fight against corruption and economic embezzlement) had organized a workshop on inflation, under the high patronage of the Ministry of the Interior, Community Development and Public Security. Police officers led by a police colonel came and suspended activities of the event to which various stakeholders from the public and private sectors had been invited. The activities that were going to start around 9am started 2 hours later. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

Dozens of people, sent by different public institutions, NGOs, some media representatives and an expert economist do not know what to do. At the entrance to the meeting room where the workshop should be held in Kabondo (west of the city of Bujumbura) are a few police officers, including a police colonel who is in charge.

Some participants are in the room, others in the inner courtyard. Sometimes people enter the premises of the place, apparently without knowing where they were going, or what they came to do.

A sentry tries to drag out a man in dirty clothes who is looking here and there. A minute later, he comes back.

“He’s an intelligence agent. That’s how they go about listening to what people are saying”, whispered a participant.

After him, another man in street clothes enters and greets a participant with courtesy. It is difficult for him to introduce himself. “I come from here… from the institutions… from the ministry… from the administration…”, he hesitates. He is told that there is an envoy from the Home Affairs ministry inviting him to join the others in the lunch break.

Finally, the workshop started beyond 11am. We had just had the authorization of the ministry, as announced by Mr. Rufyiri who had just met with the minister in charge.

After the workshop, Gabriel Rufyiri met with journalists to “temper”.

He thanked Martin Niteretse the super minister having the civil society in his attributions. Regarding the incident, he said that there are “ill-intentioned people who are not proud of the activities of Olucome and who lie to the authorities”.

A week ago, police also tried to suspend another activity of Olucome in the commercial capital Bujumbura, in which a participant from the ministry in charge of internal affairs and security and the Bujumbura municipality took part.

“You are going to hear people like Rufyiri asking me in the media to reduce food prices while they are not working. They remain locked up in their offices and don’t want to work. When we ask them to raise at least five rabbits and go and farm, they don’t listen. Does he want me to give him the milk from my cows or the production of my potatoes for free?”, criticized President Neva, as if to respond to the representative of the best known anti-corruption association in the small East African nation whilo had asked him a few days before, to take measures prohibiting trade in officials.

And he emphasized the point, addressing an assembly of young people in the political capital Gitega.

“He spends all his time listening to old people gossip. They have outdated ideas. Young people, we have to ignore these people. They’re in a 90s world. They have rotten ideas.”

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