Ndayishimiye bemoans country’s judicial system

Burundi president Evariste Ndayishimiye while addressing the country's judicial system on August 24th in Bujumbura. PHOTO| Ntare House.

Burundi’s president Evariste Ndayishimiye last week bemoaned over the country’s judicial system on failing to give justice for Burundians and foreigners living in the country.

While addressing judges, lawyers and attorneys in the country’s economic city of Bujumbura, Burundi’s president said that injustice which is caused by corruption in the country’s judicial system is the leading cause of insecurity.

“Don’t expect 11 million Burundians to come in this room and show their grievances but rather am representing them and let me cry in front of you to know what people are going through,” said Burundi president Evariste Ndayishimiye.

President Ndayishimiye got emotional as he recalled what many citizens and business people told him about the injustice and corruption that had led to many losing their property and wealth.

“From the president I cry, the citizens cry and foreigners who come to invest cry…what can we call that country…majority of the population say that poverty is caused by you judges because they have to sell their land, cow or goat to get justice,” said president Ndayishimiye.

According to the Burundian president most of the killings that happened in the country in the recent past were due to the injustice caused by the judges to the people, “if there is no public justice there is private justice so people have resorted to take revenge,” he added.

Many foreign investors have turned away to invest in the country because of corruption and injustice that has been ongoing for years, “no foreign investor can come in a country where there is no justice…being ripped off his property and can’t find justice,” said the Burundi president.

His comments comes as the president suspended several mining companies in the country in efforts to review their contracts and normalize their legal obligations in the country’s mining sector.

Several officials including ministers have been relieved from their duties by the president on corruption related cases and undermining the country image.

“Yes we respect the president and what he says but he should know that cases are not just delayed but we have to follow procedures we cannot just judge without following procedures,” one of the judges said on condition of anonymity.

Citizens in Burundi who have cases in the court many have lamented on the delays and the lack of injustice caused by high corruption rate resorted to abandoning or give up on the pending cases in the court.

“ Like now am in court with an insurance company since 2011 when my husband was knocked down by the car and died on spot…the case until to date is still in court,” said one of the residents in Bujumbura.

Burundi president Evariste Ndayishimiye since taking over the office last year has taken a drastic change in the country’s foreign relations, justice system and democracy.

Justice has been one of Burundi’s way from conflict with already a Truth and Reconciliation activities are ongoing country wide.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s mandate starts from 1885 when many African countries were partitioned, the commission is investigating all the crimes which were committed during the civil war in Burundi until 2008.

As part of the healing and reconciliation process between Burundians after the brutal ethnic violence that led to hundreds of thousands losing their lives, the 2000 Arusha agreement that put an end to the civil war in the country recommended for the formation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The Commission was formed in 2014 for the reconciliation of Burundians to soothe and heal the hearts and restore Burundian society on the path of change and equal progress.

The mandate of the TRC is to conduct investigations and establish truth about the serious violations of human rights and international human rights law from 1885 to the date of signing the cease fire agreement with FNL in 2008.


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