BUJUMBURA January 24th (ABP) – The State has lost 22.9 billion BIF following the mismanagement in 24 administrative entities controlled by the ministry’s services at the Presidency in charge of good governance during the last six months, according to Good Governance Minister Jeanne d’Arc Kagayo.
Ms. Kagayo, who presented the assessment of her ministry for the first half of 2018-2019 on Tuesday January 22, 2019, indicated that investigations into alleged cases of corruption and related offenses were carried out and that 115 cases involving 220 people were referred to the General Court at the Anti-Corruption Court.
Out of a total loss of 1.2 billion BIF in 115 cases, 236.6 million BIF were recovered by the State.
During the deterrent actions carried out on the road, 216 checks were carried out and an amount of 169 million BIF of fines have been assessed, of which 58 million BIF have already been recovered for the benefit of the public treasury.
During the actions against the fraud by the Ministry, various products that illegally entered or sold on Burundian territory were seized by the anti-corruption brigade and handed over to the authorized service, Minister Kagayo said. These include 3,329 kg of chemical fertilizers, 735 loincloths, 198 boxes of Artefan (a medicine not authorized by the Ministry of Public Health) and forest products. This has allowed recovering 52 million BIF for the benefit of the public treasury.
The Minister in charge of Good Governance recommended to set up a complete and up-to-date database of taxable items to better maximize communal revenues. Communes have also been called upon to respect the public procurement code, to direct part of the revenue collected in investment projects and to respect the principles of good governance in management.
As part of the follow-up of the implementation of the recommendations contained in the reports produced in previous years by the General State Inspectorate, 12 reports were produced and an amount estimated at 135.6 million BIF was recovered by authorized services.
In order to promote good governance and fight against corruption in schools, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, 38 anti-corruption clubs were created and supervised in high schools.
Minister Kagayo indicated that all the actions planned in the annual action plan for the first half were carried out without problem and that the sectors which were not controlled for that period will be inspected during another period.
Anti-corruption awareness meetings and workshops were organized, according to Kagayo, adding that other sensitization workshops were held on the link between gender-based violence and corruption and related offenses.
In addition, as part of monitoring the state of governance in the public administration, Kigamba, Cankuzo, Kayanza, Muruta, Buhiga and Karusi communes were visited. It has been found that they face certain challenges related to the lack of revenue collection strategies, non-compliance with the public procurement code and principles of good governance. However, this is the case while the communal law gives communes financial autonomy, Minister Kagayo said.
In addition, in order to inquire about the impact of the demographic challenge on the development of education, Ms. Kagayo said that trips were carried out in 24 communes where visits were paid to 168 basic and post-basic schools. Challenges related to the very high number of schoolchildren in classrooms, the shortage of teachers, desks and textbooks were noted, Kagayo said. A classroom can have up to 80 students, and four children share one bench and a book while education specialists estimate that a suitable number for learning is 25 students per class. These conditions lead to a deterioration of the education level as students face assimilation difficulties, according to Minister Kagayo.