BUJUMBURA April 22nd (ABP) – Justice Minister Domine Banyankimbona and the Chairman of the National Commission for Lands and Other Property (CNTB) Félicien Nduwuburundi proceeded on Thursday April 21, 2022 to the handover of the files following the end of the CNTB’s term.
On that occasion, a guided tour of the offices and archives of the CNTB was made by the two authorities in the company of the mayor of the city of Bujumbura Jimmy Hatungimana, the Attorney General of the Republic Sylvestre Nyandwi, the President of the Supreme Court Emmanuel Gateretse as well as other executives of the two institutions.
During those handover ceremonies, CNTB Chair Félicien Nduwuburundi recalled that the CNTB was set up in 2006 to deal with land disputes and other property arising from the various crises that Burundi has experienced. He indicated that the CNTB has gone through different terms and that today it came to an end on March 12, 2022. He pointed out that at the beginning the CNTB received 65,982 dispute files. So far, in the provinces, the CNTB has been able to process 48,087 files and today, 17,895 files remain to be processed.
Of these 48,087 dispute files, only 7,008 were transferred to the CNTB appeals sub-commission and the rest were definitively closed. Among these 7008 files, less than 1000 only were transferred to the special court of the CNTB.
Even if the CNTB worked well, Félicien Nduwuburundi reported 21,718 cases that were not closed, 17,895 in the provinces and 3,823 at the CNTB Court. Following those files which could not be closed, he asks the President of the Republic to extend the term of the CNTB because, he said, if these files are handed over to another jurisdiction, it will take them a long time to be able to work on it. He added that there are other trials that are drawing near to completion that will need to be reviewed. If it happens that the commission is not renewed, he asks the State to pay the end-of-career allowances to all the staff as adopted by the Cabinet and to pay the watchmen who remained to watch over files so far.
The Minister of Justice appreciated the work accomplished by the CNTB since its inception. For her, many people have been able to have their rights restored. She recalled that in order to be able to function, commissions have been set up in all the provinces and have carried out their work well in solving problems related to land and other assets arising during the various crises that the country has experienced. As the government was able to see that the work entrusted to the CNTB is significantly advanced, it has decided to put an end to the work of the Commission.
She informed that the unclosed trials will be transferred to the Ministry of Justice. The trials already registered and not decided will be directed to the Special Court responsible for dealing with land disputes and other property belonging to the Ministry of Justice. For people who had not yet seized the CNTB but who have land disputes related to the various crises experienced by the country, they will seize the various courts.
Mrs. Domine Banyankimbona mentioned that on Monday, April 18, 2022, the CNTB commissions in the provinces handed over the files to the high courts within their jurisdiction.
On behalf of her ministry, she pledged to continue the work. She appealed to the people to seize the courts which will take over from the CNTB. She thanked the CNTB for taking care of the work equipment entrusted to them and informed that it will be transferred to the courts which will take over. For the CNTB staff, she asked them to keep hope that tomorrow there could be better.