- 1 August 2023
ADDRESS BY RIGHT HONOURABLE EMMANUEL SINZOHAGERA, BURUNDI SENATE SPEAKER, OPENING THE ORDINARY SESSION OF AUGUST 2023
Gitega, August 01, 2023
Honourable First Deputy Speaker of the Senate;
Honourable Second Deputy Speaker of the Senate;
Excellencies members of the Government of the Republic of Burundi,
Mister Governor of Gitega Province;
Ladies and gentlemen members of the judiciary;;
Excellencies, Ambassadors and Representatives of Diplomatic and Consular Corps accredited to Burundi;
Ladies and Gentlemen, Representatives of International Organizations in Burundi;;
Mister Administrator of the Commune Gitega;
Ladies and gentlemen, heads of the Defense and Security Corps;
Dear Representatives of the press;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
- First of all, let us thank God the Almighty who kept an eye on us till now and who stayed with us during this month of recess. Please help me to praise him.
- The last time we met in this Chamber was on 30 June this year, at the closing proceedings of the session of April, when I announced that we would be meeting today to solemnly open the proceedings of the ordinary session of August 2023, in accordance with Articles 179 and 190 of the Constitution of the Republic of Burundi.
- On behalf of the Senate of the Republic of Burundi and on my own behalf, I welcome you! We thank you for having chosen to respond to our invitation, despite your multiple occupations. This is proof that you love our institution, despite the distance. Isn’t it said that “distance may separate two bodies, but never two hearts”
- During the recess which we have just completed, as members of the Bureau of the Senate, we visited the provinces of Muramvya, Cankuzo, Mwaro, Bubanza, Bururi, Cibitoke, Rumonge, Rutana and and the town of Bujumbura . It was a good opportunity for us to talk to the population with a view of finding solutions to the problems they face, but also to listen to their grievances. We joined them in the various community development activities they were organizing, and we sometimes gave them financial support as a contribution.
- During those visits, we deeply reflected on the project of starting a vegetable garden, and we realized that the population has already taken a step in response to the appeal launched by the government which is encouraging all families to have a vegetable garden measuring at least 20 m by 10 m, which they must water until harvest time, so that they can play their part in the fight against hunger and poverty during this dry season. As the English saying goes “God helps those who help themselves!
- In addition, we encouraged the population to undertake projects of nurseries of trees which cohabit with plants in order to continue to protect the environment. We also reminded them that those trees protect the arable land and increase its fertility. We did not fail to tell them to avoid planting trees that absorb a lot of water.
- Since the population must keep their living environments clean in order to protect their health, we sensitized them to collect household waste by explaining that this waste, once properly processed, can be useful. In particular, they can be treated and transformed into combustible products or be composted and used as natural fertilizer. etc.
Regarding non-biodegradable waste made up of plastic objects, we asked the population to collect them to protect the environment or to transform them into other useful tools, if they do not contain materials harmful to health.
- On the basis of the proverb of our ancestors which says that from the clash of ideas springs light, we have provided explanations to the population concerning article 289 of the Constitution of the Republic of Burundi which stipulates that a period of five years is granted to the Senate to consider ending or extending the ethnic quota system in the executive, legislative and judiciary. We therefore asked the population to prepare so that they can give their contributions when the time comes.
- During this recess that we have just ended, the senators did not sit back. In addition to visits to their electorate, they have had the opportunity to attend a training workshop on public procurement and management procedures in Ngozi, from July 10 to 13, 2023. We hope that this training will enable them to fully understand all the provisions of the public procurement code and to properly control the management of the country’s economy.
- The Senate has also organized other working missions abroad. It is in this context that the Honourable First Deputy Speaker of the Senate accompanied the First Lady of the country on a mission to Kigali in Rwanda. In this country, the Honourable First Deputy Speaker of the Senate got the opportunity to be received in audience by our counterpart, the Speaker of the Senate of Rwanda. As for the Honourable Anitha Ndayizeye, she participated, at the invitation of the Secretary General of the African Parliamentary Union (APU), in a meeting held in Lusaka, Zambia, at the beginning of July.
- Regarding relations with other sectors of the country, the Honourable Second Deputy speaker of the Senate represented this institution in the priestly ordination ceremonies in the Diocese of Rutana on July 15, 2023. This was an opportunity to demonstrate the good relations existing between the Senate and the Catholic Church.
- In accordance with Article 192 of the Constitution of the Republic of Burundi, on July 25, 2023, the Senate met in an extraordinary plenary session to approve the appointments of an Attorney General of the Republic and of 8 judges at the Supreme Court.
- During this ordinary session of August that we begin today, in accordance with article 163 of the Constitution of the Republic of Burundi, we will consider six bills which are added to those which remained during the past regular session. The ones that the government sent us are the following:
- Bill on the electronic and postal communications code;
- Organic bill amending Organic bill no. 1/21 of August 03, 2019 governing the Supreme Court;
- Bill on the ratification by the Republic of Burundi of the agreement between the Government of the Republic of Burundi and the Government of the Republic of Maldives on visa exemption for citizens of the two respective countries;
- Bill on the ratification by the Republic of Burundi of the agreement between the Government of the State of Qatar and the Government of the Republic of Burundi concerning the regulation of the employment of Burundian workers in the State of Qatar;
- Bill on the ratification by the Republic of Burundi of the framework agreement on cooperation in the Nile River Basin;
- Bill on the ratification by the Republic of Burundi of the military and technical cooperation agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Burundi.
Alongside these bills, the President of the Republic has just sent us for a second reading the draft organic law amending law No. 1/08 of March 17, 2005 on the code of judicial organization and jurisdiction.
- We would like to take this opportunity to salute the Government’s efforts in increasing and managing the harvest by raising awareness about the breeding of small livestock, enhancing the country’s economy, and curbing the flow of files which have been pending for a long time in the courts.
- We also cannot forget to congratulate the First Lady of our country H.E Angeline Ndayishimiye: Laureate of the United Nations Population Prize, 2023 edition. We pray for her to continue to be the torch of Burundians which enlightens the world through her good actions.
- During this ordinary session of August, we will continue our mission of verifying if the bills which we have adopted and the different measures that we have taken are implemented.
Moreover, we will invite different ministers in order to submit to them the grievances of the population whom we visited during our parliamentary recess.
We will closely check if farmers receive selected seeds and fertilizers for the coming growing season.
- This session comes at a time when we have officially launched the work recommended by article 289 of the Constitution of the Republic of Burundi which stipulates that a period of five years is granted to the Senate to evaluate in order to end or extend the system of ethnic quotas in the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary after the establishment of the Institutions resulting from this Constitution. We want to make a strong appeal to Honourable Senators and all leaders to support our mission so that the visits that the Senate will make in the different provinces of the country can have contributions from all components of Burundian society.
- To conclude, we solemnly declare open, today Tuesday, August 01, 2023, the ordinary parliamentary session of August 2023. We would like to wish the Honourable Senators every success for this session, and to all of you who have come to join us, a good trip while going back to your occupations.
THANK YOU, GOD BLESS YOU!