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MEDIA RELEASE CONSECUTIVE TO THE CABINET MEETING HELD ON WEDNESDAY 28 AND THURSDAY 29 NOVEMBER 2018

A Cabinet Meeting was held on Wednesday 28 and Thursday 29 November 2018 under the chairmanship of His Excellency Pierre Nkurunziza, President of the Republic of Burundi. The following items were analyzed :

1. Bill to revise Law n° 1/31 of 31/12/2013 revising Law n° 1/01 of 04/01/2011 on the missions, composition, organization and functioning of the National Commission for Land and Other Assets, presented by the Minister of Justice, Civil Protection and Keeper of the Seals.

The reintegration of the victims in their rights through the real enjoyment of properties recovered by the National Commission for Lands and Assets Goods is a process that requires a lot of efforts.

In spite of the step already taken by this Commission, there are still problems in connection with the acquisition of ownership titles and property certificates by the victims for the recovered properties. Cases where people mortgage property that is subject to litigation make it more difficult for them to recover.

The present project puts in place strategies to solve these problems by among others :

  • Clarification of the Commission’s tasks and powers in order to avoid overlapping with the missions of the ordinary courts and other Commissions,
  • The repression of the use of falsehood and false testimony and the use of fake documents,
  • The establishment of mechanisms facilitating the recovery of land and assets belonging to the State. After exchange and debate, the project was adopted with some corrections.

2. Bill to revise Law No. 1/26 of 15/09/2014 on the establishment, organization, composition, functioning and jurisdiction of the Special Court for Lands and Other Assets, presented by the Minister of Justice, Civic Protection and Keeper of the Seals.

The law n ° 1/26 of 15/09/2014 relating to the creation, organization, composition, functioning and competence of the Special Court for Lands and Other Assets has gaps that should be filled. This is among others :

  • The fact that this law failed to specify the organization chart of this Court
  • The absence of an internal control body for transparent management of the budget allocated to the Court ;
  • Conditions for reviewing a judgment by the Court that are not specified ;
  • The power to annul the disputed title or land certificate for decisions that are no longer subject to appeal ;
  • The non-assignment of the magistrates of the Public Ministry to the Court to investigate the offense committed during the hearing ;
  • The silence of this law on the fact that judgments rendered by ordinary courts in the matter which falls within the jurisdiction of the Court are null and void. This project fills all these gaps.

After discussion and exchange, the project was adopted with some corrections to be made.

3. Draft decree establishing the Makamba, Muha and Ntahangwa Court of Appeal and their General Prosecutor’s Offices, presented by the Minister of Justice, Civic Protection and Keeper of the Seals.

Access to fair and timely justice is a principle guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Burundi. This principle would be utopian if on the one the hand the Burundian courts do not make quality decisions and on the other hand, are not easily accessible. At present, the administration of justice faces various obstacles, particularly when it comes to seizing the Court of Appeal of Bujumbura or the Court of Appeal of Bururi in terms of distance to be traveled by litigants.

To alleviate these challenges and help reduce processing times and reduce the volume of judicial backlogs, the project proposes the creation of the Ntahangwa Court of Appeal, whose territorial jurisdiction will cover the judicial jurisdictions of the District Courts of Ntahangwa, Bubanza, Cibitoke and Muramvya and the Court of Appeal of Muha whose territorial jurisdiction will cover the judicial jurisdictions of the District Courts of Muha, Bujumbura and Mwaro.

It is also proposed the creation of the Court of Appeal of Makamba whose territorial jurisdiction will cover the jurisdictions of the District Courts of Makamba and Rutana.

The project was adopted with the finalization by a team set up for this purpose with the recommendation to specify the territorial delimitation of the District Courts covered by these Courts of Appeal concerned.

4. Draft Ministerial Order on the Evaluation and Certification of Traditional Remedies ;

5. Draft ministerial Order authorizing the opening of a medical institution in traditional medicine ;

6. Draft Ministerial Order establishing and operating the National Network of Associations of Traditional Practitioners in Burundi ;

7. Draft ministerial order setting up the pharmacovigilance system for traditional medicines in Burundi.

All four projects were presented by the Minister of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS. These projects come to implement the decree n° 100/253 of November 11th, 2014 regulating the Traditional Medicine and the Art of Tradipractitioner.

In Burundi, as elsewhere in Africa, the use of traditional medicine is widespread and of increasing health importance. Some traditional healers have even regrouped in associations while others still work in isolation or in hiding.

The traditional medicine as well as the modern medicine is a rather special product that has at the same time beneficial effects that can heal as well as unwanted and harmful effects that can even kill when misused.

The public authorities must therefore ensure that traditional healers act according to the standards of the practice of art and that they thoroughly fulfill their professional obligations. It is in this context that the decree n° 100/253 of November 11, 2014 regulating the Traditional Medicine and the Art of Tradipractitioner was set up.

However, this decree requires implementing legislation to guarantee the effectiveness, safety and quality of the traditional care provided by traditional healers, as well as the control of the registration, training and practice of the art Tradipractitioner. This is the rationale behind these proposed Orders.

After exchange, the Council adopted these projects with slight corrections.

8. Draft Order laying down the procedures for filing and examining applications for approval for the importation of breast-milk substitutes, presented by the Minister of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS.

Breastfeeding is recognized as one of the most effective and least costly interventions for good nutrition for children. In order to protect breastfeeding, the World Health Assembly in 1981 adopted the International Code of Marketing of Breast milk Substitutes. The purpose of this Code is to provide the infant with safe and adequate nutrition by ensuring the correct use of breast-milk substitutes through proper marketing and distribution. Burundi has adhered to this Code and it is with this in mind that Decree No. 100/258 of 31 October 2013 on the regulation of the marketing of breast-milk substitutes has been signed.

In order to regulate all the aspects contained in this decree, to correct the deficiencies observed with respect to the safety, the quality and the marketing of breast-milk substitutes and to guarantee to the infant a healthy food, it is proposed this draft order which involves actors in the licensing, marketing and pricing of services.

This project was adopted with some corrections to be made.

9. Draft contract for the construction of the Hospital of Burundi National Police, presented by the Minister of Public Security and Disaster Management.

The Hospital of the Hospital of Burundi National Police was created by the decree n° 100/39 of February 17, 2016. The same decree specifies the level of care exerted by this establishment by indicating that it is of national reference. Although some services are functional, it is noticeable the exiguity of the premises as well as the absence of biomedical equipment, which does not allow the proper functioning of this hospital.

In order to improve the infrastructure of this hospital and make modern medical services more efficient, a Memorandum of Understanding in connection with the construction of a Hospital of Burundi National Police between the Government of Burundi and China Machinery Engineering has been signed.

The aim is to have a hospital offering specialized services with technical equipment to minimize cases of transfer abroad for specialized care. This draft contract is proposed so that its validation by the Council of Ministers allows the start of construction work of this infrastructure.

After debate, the Council recognized the interest of having such a hospital but considering the enormous cost that this investment requires, a team was appointed to analyze the project in all its aspects and to propose to the Council the best way to achieve it. It will be brought back to the Council of Ministers within three months.

10. Draft Decree on the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct in Public Procurement, presented by the Minister of Finance, Budget and Economic Development Cooperation.

Law No. 1/04 of 29 January 2018 governing public procurement has profoundly innovated this key sector of socio-economic development for greater efficiency. Strict rules have been introduced to this effect for an effective fight against corruption and related offenses in order to encourage all public and private actors involved in the public procurement chain to respect this law.

This draft Code of Ethics and Conduct in Public Procurement is proposed in this context of moralizing actors involved in the procedures of awarding, approval, execution, control, and regulation of public contracts. It urges all those involved in this chain to adopt a good behavior and to give a wide berth to illegal or unscrupulous behavior.

At the end of the discussions, the project was adopted for finalization by a team designated for this purpose.

11. Draft law on the organic framework of social protection, presented by the Minister of Human Rights, Social Affairs and Gender.

Since independence, the Government of Burundi has put in place social protection programs and measures for specific categories, often depending on the circumstances. These include the National Institute of Social Security, the Mutuelle de la Fonction Publique, the National Authority of Pensions and Occupational Risks for Civil Servants and Magistrates.

Beyond this structured sector, the Government has developed other social protection programs for vulnerable groups, including free tuition in 1966, a measure renewed in 2005, and recently free health care measures for mothers and children under five, as well as free measures for specific conditions.

Since the former Social Security Code dates from 1999, it has become obsolete on the one hand, while most of the measures have been taken under the pressure of circumstances on the other hand, it is high time to update and unify all these measures in a single Social Protection Code and above all to ensure that it provides added value. In addition, Burundi adopted a social protection policy in 2011 and it is necessary to translate this national vision for social protection into a legislative text.

After discussions, the Council noted that the text deserved to be reworked to take sufficient account of the interests of the insured. It must also take into account the revision of the current Labor Code to avoid having texts that contradict each other. A team has been appointed to rework the project and it will be returned to the Council of Ministers within one month.

12. Project Manager Performance Evaluation Template, presented by the Minister of Finance, Budget and Economic Development Cooperation.

In order to improve good governance and promote sustainable development, the Government of Burundi has a National Program for the Reform of Public Administration. In the context of this reform, the Government has adopted a policy and tools for performance-based management in order to consolidate the culture of accountability.

This project manager performance evaluation sheet will help the sector ministries responsible for the different projects funded by the technical and financial partners to regularly monitor and evaluate the technical and financial achievements of these projects. It proposes criteria to be taken into consideration for a periodic evaluation of the various project managers.

These criteria are based on the terms of reference, the annual work plan and budget, the evaluation of the results and impacts described in the project document.
After exchange and enrichment of the project, the Council adopted it.

13. Any Other Business.

  • The First Vice-President of the Republic reminded the Ministers concerned to prepare the bills already adopted by the Council of Ministers for their programming in Parliament Session for their analysis and adoption.
  • The Minister of National Defense and Veterans Affairs spoke about the East African Standby Force meeting that will take place in December 2018 and that it will be Burundi’s turn to assume the presidency of this body.
  • The Minister of Education, Technical and Vocational Training has requested the intervention of the Minister of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS so that doctors cease to issue medical rest breaks to healthy civil servants.
  • The Minister of Finance, Budget and Economic Development Cooperation informed the Council of the Day dedicated to the Taxpayer, which will be celebrated on December 05, 2018 in Makamba.
  • The Minister of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS recalled the vaccination campaign against meningitis that will take place from 04 to 13 December 2018.

Done at Bujumbura, November 29, 2018

Prosper NTAHORWAMIYE
Secretary-General and Spokesman
of the Government.-

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