CANKUZO / BUJUMBURA July 23rd (ABP) – Burundian parliamentarians are continuing their trips to the provinces as part of their parliamentary recess aimed at inquiring about the concerns of the people, a check on the site by ABP has revealed.
In Cankuzo province (eastern Burundi), National Assembly Speaker Daniel Gélase Ndabirabe, along with the MPs and Senators elected in that constituency, met on Wednesday July 21, at the headquarters of the province, the leaders of religious denominations from across the province. He called on them to be mirrors of their followers.
The province has opportunities to develop, said Ndabirabe, noting that there needs to be good organization. On the other hand, he said, a good leader must do something beneficial to others. They must serve as an example and avoid the spirit of selfishness.
Thus, the church whose leaders will not reach an agreement will be closed to become a public good, Mr. Ndabirabe insisted, recalling that the church, no matter how it was established or built, belongs to God.
The governor of Cankuzo province, Mr. Boniface Banyiyezako, indicated before in his opening remarks that religious denominations are generally characterized by good cohabitation. He also said religious denominations play an important role in the development of the province, giving the example of Murore hospital which belongs to the United Methodist Church.
During the exchanges, the participants thanked the Speaker of the National Assembly for that initiative and asked him to multiply such lessons because, they felt, they contribute to behavior change. They pledged to follow the advice received.
In Bujumbura province (western Burundi), the Second Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr. Abel Gashatsi, accompanied by the MPs and Senators elected in that constituency, made a trip on Wednesday July 21 to Mugongomanga commune, after Mukike commune visited on Monday the 19th where he inquired about the achievements on the ground before meeting with the people to collect the their grievances, a check in Bujumbura province by ABP revealed.
Indeed, those parliamentarians made a guided visit to the Jenda tea factory where the manager of the tea complex, Mr. Gilbert Nderagakura, explained to them the process of machining the green leaf, from wrinkling through to fermentation, drying, sorting and packaging.
Mr. Gashatsi raised the lamentations of tea growers who complain about the low price of the green leaf, leading some tea growers to want replace tea with growing potatoes which they say make a lot of money. The second deputy speaker of the National Assembly thus asked the manager of the factory what they are doing to protect that cash crop. He asked that the Burundi Tea Authority (OTB) supervise the private individuals who invest in the tea crop.
OTB Jenda manager said the Burundi Tea Authority gives subsidized fertilizers, but tea growers do not apply them in the fields on the pretext that the latter are not producing properly. He proposed that production be increased, reassuring that the State will see the price per kilogram of green leaf increase. He also proposed that private individuals first prepare their tea fields before embarking on the field.
He went on to plead with the second deputy speaker of the National Assembly to introduce a law that would crack down on those who pull up tea plants and replace them with other crops. In addition, he pointed out that this factory has two woodlots of about 60 which are ready to be exploited. However, the factory encountered resistance from the people as to the drawing of the road that would give access to those woodlots. With that, Mr. Gashatsi urged the people not to put up resistance because, he insisted, the road is a factor of development.
The second stage was the holding of a dialogue with the people at the headquarters of Jenda.
In his speech, the second deputy speaker of the National Assembly indicated that their trip is part of visiting their electorate and listening to their grievances and concerns so that they are taken into account when passing laws. He said he was delighted that Mugongomanga commune is characterized by peace and security today more than yesterday and asked that they be safeguarded. He called on parents to stay with their children and occupy them in the field works of this season C. He congratulated the people of Mugongomanga who have rolled up their sleeves to grow and increase food production while in the past they were fed by the children working in the Bujumbura City Council. He also asked the administrative officials, the leaders of political parties and religious denominations to get involved in the protection of the tea crop which brings currency in the country.
Among the complaints addressed to him, people of Mugongomanga pointed the finger at the High Court and the Public Prosecutor’s Office; the tea-growing field on Gisagwe hill, on the border with Isare commune which, today, is not picked because two conflicting parties each wants it to be their own and do not want to accept the judgment rendered by the court; health insurance cards which are rare in healthcare facilities, to name but a few.
Solutions and answers to questions were given by the second deputy speaker of the National Assembly, supplemented by the governor of Bujumbura, Mr. Désiré Nsengiyumva and the communal administrator of Mugongomanga, Mrs. Consolate Ndayisaba.