CIBITOKE April 20th (ABP) – In recent weeks, the rise in the price per bag of charcoal has been talked about, in Cibitoke province (north-west of Burundi), especially in the communes of Rugombo and Buganda.
An average bag of charcoal can be bought between 32,000 and 35,000 BIF, while the same bag was obtained at a price varying between 22,000 and 25,000 Burundi francs, in late 2021. For consumers, the life is becoming more and more difficult. They are already worried about the continual rise in price of all basic necessities, a situation they describe as difficult with the rise in the price of charcoal. They blame the sellers, accusing them of wanting to get rich on the backs of consumers. As for the sellers, they deny the accusations of consumers, indicating that they are currently working at a loss, with the repetitive shortage of fuel.
For Jean Marie Bizimana who trades in charcoal at the Cibitoke market from the Mabayi commune, it is rather the taxes and the purchasing prices which are at the origin of the situation. According to him, three months ago, a bag of charcoal cost between 15,000 and 18,000 BIF in Mabayi commune, and today the same bag is obtained between 20,000 francs and 22,000 francs.
Added to this are transport, communal and OBR taxes, respectively of 1000 francs per bag in Mabayi commune, 1000 francs per bag in Rugombo commune, 1250 francs per bag at OBR, in addition to the transport fare per bag which varies between 4000 and 5000 Burundi francs. He reveals that previously, the communal tax was 500 Burundi francs per bag and 500 Burundi francs for the OBR.
Mélanie Bukuru indicates that charcoal sellers ask the administration and the government to reduce taxes so that the price per bag of charcoal drops.