- 1 March 2023
SPEECH OF THE RIGHT HONOURABLE Emmanuel SINZOHAGERA, SENATE SPEAKER, AT THE CLOSING OF THE ORDINARY SESSION OF DECEMBER 2022
Gitega, February 28, 2023
Honourable Senators ;
Your Excellencies Members of the Government of the Republic of Burundi;
President of the High Court of Gitega
Prosecutor of the Republic in Gitega
President of the Labour Court in Gitega;
Your Excellencies Representatives of Diplomatic missions and International Organizations in Burundi;
Governor of Gitega Province;
Administrator of Gitega Commune;
Representatives of the Defense and Security Forces;
Distinguished Guests ;
Ladies and Gentlemen ;
- First and foremost, let me, on behalf of the members of the Bureau of the Senate, who are in official missions abroad, and on my own behalf, thank the Almighty God, creator of the Earth and Heaven, who guided us during this three-month period corresponding to the ordinary session of December 2023. During this period, we fully carried out the missions for the people which we represent, and in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Burundi in its articles 192, 193,194,195 and 196.
- Secondly, let me welcome you Honourable senators, and all of you distinguished Guests, for having always supported us during such ceremonies whenever we invite you; this proves that you are witnesses of the missions that the Senate carries out for the people by supporting them through visits of the Honourable members of the Bureau and all the Honourable senators to all the provinces of our country.
- We also participated in other activities which were organised at the national level. On February 6, 2023, we participated in the national day dedicated to national unity, where we represented His Excellency Head of State in the ceremonies which took place in the city of Bujumbura. During these ceremonies, we recalled that the article 289 of the Constitution of the Republic of Burundi stipulates that the Senate has been given a five-year period to decide whether to put an end to the ethnic quotas within institutions or whether to extend them. Before the end of these two years which remain for this legislature, we must have decided on that issue, and this requires that the State provide related financial means in its budget.
- We attended the prayer ceremonies organized by His Excellency the Head of State’s family, which ended the year, and we again attended the meeting of CNDD-FDD Party in the province of Gitega. We also attended the meeting of the same Party in the process of establishing the secretary of the Party in the zones. This meeting took place in Nyambuye, in the commune Isare of Bujumbura province.
- Indeed, during this ordinary session of Kigarama, we analyzed and adopted 8 bills out of 10 sent by the Government of Burundi in addition to the others which were left in the previous session. Those bills are the following:
- Bill on the ratification by the Republic of Burundi of the African Youth Charter adopted in Banjul in The Gambia on July 02, 2022;
- Bill amending Law No 1/28 of 23 August 2006 on the General status of government officials;
- Bill ratifying the Trade Agreement between the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Government of the Republic of Burundi signed on April 29, 2022 in Kinshasa;
- Organic bill determining and delimiting the provinces, communes, zones, hills or districts of the Republic of Burundi;
- Bill revising law No 1/004 of 9 July 1996 on the organization and functioning of the Notary as well as the Status of Notary;
- Bill on the ratification by the Republic of Burundi of the agreement between the Government of the Republic of Indonesia and the Government of the Republic of Burundi on visa exemption for holders of diplomatic and service passports;
- Organic bill amending Law No 1/08 of March 14, 2005 on the Code of Judicial Organization and Competence;
- Bill amending Law No 1/06 of 24 January 2013 establishing the system of allowances and benefits for members of the Offices of Parliament, parliamentarians as well as the system of incompatibilities and social security.
- During this ordinary session of December, the members of the Bureau of the Senate visited certain provinces and communes of the country. They carried out field visits with a view of verifying the state of implementation of the laws adopted and passed. We exchanged with the population where we explain them passed bills. We also collected their grievances and concerns in order to submit them to the members of the Government so that they should give them a favourable answer. We take this opportunity to congratulate the Government of Burundi led by His Excellency General Major Evariste NDAYISHIMIYE on the decision taken to dispatch all members of the Government to the field to meet the population of all provinces of the country in order to explain to them the laws in force and to exchange face to face on any issue.
- As we have seen in the visits carried in the countryside, we have appreciated that peace and security reign all over the country while the population is at work. We appreciated that the Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and the Environment, is doing the utmost to ensure that all the challenges faced by agri-pastoralists should be corrected. We notice for example the increase of seed and livestock multiplication centres, the introduction of other new plants and the renewal of those that are falling; but also the import of various plants which can adapt to the effects of climate change.
- Wherever we went, we sensitized the population to like and to make the youth like working, to get down to working together in cooperatives, to develop projects to submit in banks like that of the youth and/or that of women to finance them. We again made them aware of the maintenance of social infrastructure and to be able to tackle to community development activities.
We have further sensitized the population to support the village notables in their missions. We ask them to listen to everybody on the same equal footing each time. In the provinces that we visited, whether in the City of Bujumbura, or in the provinces of Bujumbura, Mwaro, Ruyigi, Bururi and elsewhere, we joined the population in the community development activities they were doing.
- In the administrative field, we have organized meetings for communal councils to listen to what could be an obstacle to them in carrying out their missions. We did this after there were disagreements between the administrators and the communal councils until there were even some who lost their positions. The mission report has been sent to the authorized persons so that they should serve as a database.
- During this ordinary session of December, we welcomed the representatives of the Government of Burundi so that they could answer the questions that the population put to us during the visits which we carried out in the countryside. These government representatives are namely the Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism; the Minister in charge of Communication, the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and the Environment and the Minister of Public Security, Home Affairs and of Community Development.
- In the course of this ordinary session of December, in accordance with article 168 of the Constitution of the Republic of Burundi, in its paragraph 4, His Excellency Prime Minister presented the report of the implementation of the programme the Government for the first semester of the budget year 2022-2023 before the Parliament in congress at the hemicycle of Kigobe in the city of Bujumbura.
- This ordinary session of December was a good opportunity for our country where it was demonstrated that it keeps and will keep still its bravery at the international level, as our Supreme Guide H.E Pierre NKURUNZIZA said. Our country hosted the 20th Summit of Heads of state of the East African sub-region. The point on the agenda of the day was the insecurity that prevails in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo. During that Summit, H.E the President of the Republic of Burundi has been appointed by his counterparts to represent Central Africa in the Board of Directors of the African Union Association. Hence, I again invite you to help me applaud him. .
- In the field of cooperation, the members of the Bureau of the Senate participated in the activities and meetings of the associations of which our country is a member. For our part, we participated in the opening ceremonies of the ordinary session of the East African Legislative Assembly, and we also attended the taking of the oath of the one who was elected for the lead, Honourable Joseph NTAKARUTIMANA. We congratulate him once again and we wish him every success in his new office.
- The Honourable First Deputy Speaker of the Senate participated in the 62nd session of the OACPS Parliamentary Assembly and intersessional meetings of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly. As for the Honourable Second Deputy Speaker of the Senate, he is participating in the 3rd International Conference of the Network of Parliamentarians for the Sustainable Management of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa (REPAR). He will also participate in the conference of Presidents of the Network of Parliamentary Alliances of Central Africa for Food and Nutritional Security (RAPAC-SAN), in Libreville, Gabon.
- We have also organized meetings to present the reports of the missions carried out by the Honourable senators, inside and outside the country, to share with us the experience acquired in the accomplishment of these missions, which has allowed knowing how they represented the Senate in defending the public interest.
- We received in audience the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Burundi. We discussed the strengthening of friendship relations and cooperation. We also received in audience a representative of an international organization. We discussed strengthening cooperation with regard to the 2018-2027 development agenda.
- During this period of parliamentary recess, we will visit the population to provide them with advice and above all to make them aware of the issue of not wasting the harvest. We take this opportunity to ask Honourable senators to explain to the public the laws which have already been passed. We also ask them to collect the grievances of the population to record them in the reports so that we can analyze them together. The grievances to which we will not be able to find solutions will be sent to the members of the government.
- Our concern will also be to sensitize the population to get down to development activities, protect the environment, closely monitor the education of children, change the mentality, respect the law, respect leaders and be responsible and useful in the society.
- To close, I would like to reiterate my sincere thanks for your presence at these ceremonies, despite your multiple obligations. While wishing you a good return to your activities, we solemnly declare closed the ordinary parliamentary session of December 2022. We shall meet again in this hemicycle on April 03, 2023.
May God bless You all,