A Cabinet Meeting was held on Wednesday 27, September 2017 under the chairmanship of His Excellency Pierre Nkurunziza, President of the Republic of Burundi. The following items were analyzed :
1. Bill Establishing a National Volunteer Program for Burundi, presented by the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture.
The idea of setting up a national youth volunteer program begun to ripen with the National Youth Forum organized in 2007. Since 2008, in collaboration with other partners, the Ministry in charge of Youth has been exploring the opportunities to launch this program. This program would provide skilled Burundian youth currently unemployed with the opportunity to have experience in structured activities while gaining employability.
This Program, Operational since 2014, has been developed within the framework of cooperation between the Government of Burundi and the other countries of the African Union which has called for the participation of Burundian national volunteers in other countries. The program has already initiated a pilot phase with 504 young volunteers deployed in 294 reception centers in three pilot provinces, namely Bujumbura, Gitega and Ngozi.
The aim of this bill is therefore to set up a legal and institutional framework for the operation of the volunteer body of young people aged 35 years maximum, to enable them to put their energy at the service of fighting poverty and peace consolidation for a period of up to one year.
The Council had analyzed this bill on 06 October 2016 and returned it to be reworked. After reading the reworked draft, the Council found it to be in line with its guidelines and adopted it.
2. Bill revising Act No. 1/15 of May 09, 2015 governing the Press in Burundi, presented by the Minister of Posts, Information Technologies, Communication and Media.
Act No. 1/15 of May 9, 2015 governing the Press in Burundi deserves to be amended in some of its provisions to address the shortcomings found in its implementation in particular with regard to the granting of the press card, where, in addition to the professionals entitled to the profession, other categories of regular collaborators of the media or other assimilated or auxiliary fields who now practice without any form of professional card need it.
This bill also responds to a continuing concern about journalist status where misunderstandings are still observed because of the lack of this card. The draft therefore gives more details on the conditions required to acquire the press card and the authority responsible for issuing it. The bill also incorporates certain areas which until then have operated without an appropriate legal framework, such as cinema.
As a reminder, the Council of Ministers had analyzed this bill on 8 June 2017 in first reading and had returned it for reworking. After being reassured that the observations made were taken into account, the Council of Ministers adopted it.
3. Draft Decree on the Creation, Missions, Organization and operation of the National Commission in charge of the establishment and management of the national strategic food stock presented by the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock.
For some time now, the country has been subjected to the test of climatic hazards, which are caused either by prolonged droughts or by floods that destroy crops, leading to recurrent food shortages in some parts of the country. Faced with this threat, it has been found that there are structural and organizational challenges coupled with the lack of sufficient foodstuffs preventing effective intervention among the needy populations.
It is the duty of the Government to ensure food security for all people at all times and places. It is in the interest of finding a lasting solution to this problem that it is essential to establish a National Strategic Food Security Stock. This stock would come as a lasting solution to the general policy of the Government to strengthen prevention in the field of food security in order to cope well with the unpredictable and recurring consequences of climate hazards and in a reassuring manner.
This draft is proposed following the meeting of the Council of Ministers which analyzed a Note on the establishment of a National Strategic Food Security Stock on 5 July 2017 and recommended the development of a legal framework relating thereto. This Commission to be set up is an operational technical body which reports to the National Security Council and is coordinated by the Permanent Secretary of this Council.
After exchanges, the Council of Ministers adopted the project with a few amendments while recommending that every effort be made to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is built and completed within a year.
4. Draft Ministerial Ordinance on the Establishment of a training section for drivers of trucks and public transport vehicles within the Vocational Training Center (CFP) of Kigobe, presented by the Minister of Transport, Public Works and Equipment.
The idea for the creation of a Training Center for drivers of trucks and public transport vehicles was subsequent to the promulgation of the Highway Traffic Code in 2012. It also meets the requirements of the Transport Regulatory Authorities in all member countries of the East African Community where goods shipping to Burundi transit. The East African Community is currently equipped with training programs for truck drivers and large public transport vehicles and has been validated by all member countries and Burundi has been chosen to house the Regional Center for this purpose.
It should also be borne in mind that the Council had analyzed this draft on 13-14 July 2016 and recognized the need for such training, but felt that it was necessary to exploit existing training facilities and to provide such training. It is in this perspective it was proposed to set up a section that provides such training within the Vocational Training Center of Kigobe (CFP). The draft was adopted with some reworking.
5. Note on the situation of the payment of arrears of rent for buildings rented by the Government, presented by the Minister of Transport, Public Works and Equipment.
This note gives the situation of the rents which the Government owes to the owners of the buildings rented for its various services particularly for its offices and the note proposes the terms of liquidation, as well as the new tariffs to be applied. The Council took note of the contents of the Note but pointed out that it would have been necessary to produce at the same time the situation of rents due to the Government in order to propose a comprehensive solution.
The Council recalled the recommendations made at the government retreats and cabinet meetings to give priority to the construction of state-owned administrative buildings at least annually, and denounced the behavior of certain Government officials who impede private investors in this area. A team to follow up on this issue and to report to the Council of Ministers each month over what is being done in connection with the acquisition of these buildings was set up.
• The Minister for Human Rights, Social Affairs and Gender informed the Council about the mission to Geneva in Switzerland in connection with the presentation of the report of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi to the Human Rights Council. The Government of Burundi reiterated its position on the rejection of the Report produced by the Commission, which was unlawfully created by Human Rights Council Resolution 33/24, which was adopted by forcing in violation of all procedural rules, despite the total disagreement expressed by the Government of Burundi.
• The Council was subsequently informed of the dismantling by the police of a new type of destabilization which uses new methods through the production of documents bearing the stamps and the imitated signatures of various senior officials of the country, including arrest warrants, consequently forcing some people to flee the country believing that they are wanted. The Council recommended more vigilance to eradicate this crime whose objective is not only financial.
Done at Bujumbura, September 28, 2017
Secretary-General and Spokesman
of the Government.-