BUJUMBURA December 19th (ABP) – The National Assembly met on Thursday, December 15, 2022, in plenary session, to analyze and pass the organic law on the determination and delimitation of provinces, communes, zones, villages/neighborhoods of the Republic of Burundi. Interior Minister Martin Niteretse was the guest of the day, to provide clarification on MPs’ concerns.
In his explanatory memorandum, Mr. Niteretse recalled that Burundi currently has 18 provinces, 119 communes, 339 zones, 2910 villages or quarters over an area of 27834 km2. With regard to the criteria for the new redistricting, Minister Niteretse indicated the geographical proximity and sociological realities, the delimitation taking into account the specificities and potentialities of the decentralized structures, the determination of the number of communes taking into account the economic viability and financial structure of communes as well as the grouping of zones and villages according to the size of those structures, natural barriers and the number of inhabitants.
According to the new administrative redistricting-regrouping, specified the Minister of the Interior, the Republic of Burundi will have 5 provinces, 42 communes, 447 zones and 3036 villages or quarters. He underlined that the provinces and the communes decreased going from 18 to 5, for the provinces and from 119 to 42, for the communes. Zones and villages have increased significantly, from 339 to 447 for zones, and 2,910 to 3,036 for villages or neighborhoods.
He also explained that the new province of Bujumbura is made up of 11 communes namely Bubanza, Bukinanyana, Cibitoke, Mpanda, Isare, Mugina, Mugongomanga, Muha, Muhuta, Mukaza and Ntahangwa. Gitega province is made up of 9 communes including Bugendana, Gitega, Gishubi, Karusi, Muramvya, Mwaro, Nyabihanga, Kiganda and Shombo. He pointed out that Buhumuza province is made up of 7 communes like Butaganzwa, Butihinda, Gisagara, Gisuru, Muyinga, Ruyigi and Cankuzo. Butanyerera province is made up of 8 communes. These are the Busoni, Gatara, Kayanza, Kiremba, Kirundo, Muhanga, Ngozi and Tangara communes. For the Burunga province, it is made up of the current provinces of Bururi, Makamba, Rutana and Rumonge.
The MPs wanted to know the objective criteria at the origin of those names of provinces. So, Minister Niteretse pointed out that the choice of the names of the provinces was motivated either by a name known by its historical past, or by its cultural specificity, except for the names of the provinces Gitega and Bujumbura, retained by the constitution of Burundi, respectively as political and economic capitals. They are also unifying names that convey the identity of a united Burundi, he explained. He said the criteria taken into account for the delimitation of the territory are, among other things, financial viability, geographical location in order to keep together the population with the same culture as well as the proximity of public services to population and direct location.