GITEGA March 22nd (ABP) – The governor of the province of Gitega, Mr. Venant Manirambona, along with the administrator of the Gitega commune, Dr Jacques Nduwimana, held on Monday, March 21, 2022, in the premises of the Gitega commune, a meeting for representatives of religious denominations and civil societies working in Gitega to reflect together on the role of churches and civil society organizations in the implementation of government action plans and respect for laws already put in place by the government on the regulation of churches in Burundi.
The provincial governor reminded them that they have a preponderant role in the development of the country, because, according to him, they are the ones who, on a daily basis, stay together the most time with their faithful. He called on them to participate massively in the implementation of the development plans already established by the government of Burundi and to scrupulously respect the laws already enacted by the Ministry of the Interior, Community Development and Public Security with regard to the regulations of religious denominations and non-governmental organizations.
Mr. Manirambona urged those leaders of churches and those of civil societies to behave as a model towards their faithful by respecting the laws and avoiding falling into errors, because, according to him, progress is no longer possible without respecting the measures taken by the hierarchical authorities. It is for that reason that he called on them to apply themselves the decision of the minister in charge of the interior concerning the immediate closure of all the churches in the country which operate without approval, which work under legal loan, or who worship in classrooms, meeting rooms, bars, and so on.
For churches that do not respect the regulatory distance, the governor has indicated that it is the most recent that must leave the premises.
During the interventions, some participants commended the measure while others requested another grace period.
Governor Manirambona told them that the implementation of the decision is immediate. The person who represented the Catholic Church indicated that despite this, the premises of those closed churches can be transformed into schools, warehouses, meeting rooms, and so forth, to carry out community development work there, and not demolish them, an opinion which was commended by the governor of Gitega.
Despite this, Governor Manirambona also called on those faith leaders to support the State in its initiative to fight and put an end to corruption and the inexplicable rise in the prices of certain local products, including cement from BUCECO company, sugar from SOSUMO and beverages produced by BRARUDI because, according to him, those problems sometimes come from officials in the public or private sector and from traders.
It is for that reason that he called on them to always combine their efforts by working in synergy to eradicate those scourges because unity is strength and “together we can”, according to the President of the Republic of Burundi, Mr. Evariste Ndayishimiye.
Note that this decision concerns all the churches that were founded or set up after the enactment of that law in 2014. The urban center of the political capital of Burundi currently has 78 churches.