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Burundi

Hunt for high school students launched after tearing their uniforms to shreds

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A school principal in Bubanza province decided that 10 students who just graduated won’t be awarded with diplomas. He accuses them of having torn apart their uniforms and behaved badly at the end of the state exam. The decision has sparked a lot of reactions.

Students tore apart their uniforms at the end of the state examination

An audio has been circulating on social media. The principal of EPM High School cites the names of students he accuses of displaying a behavior far from being exemplary.

They stripped off and insulted the master of studies. “It’s a complete lack of good manners,” says the principal. He adds that a meeting was held and sanctions were imposed: no diplomas will be given to the 10 students from the Maintenance section who broke the school rules. “They will repeat the year.” He assures that a note justifying the decision will be sent to the minister.

Boomerang effect

The decision has provoked an uproar from students. This principal is not the only one to consider sanctions. Fear haunts recent graduates. They fear the measures that would be disproportionate to the error which was made. The police would be looking for “troublemakers.”

“I do not think there was a fault. We finished our studies successfully and sat for the state exam. Why should someone be forced to repeat a year when in fact they have succeeded?” says a student who freshly graduated from a high school in Bujumbura. He fears that many principals will take such measures he refers to as excessive zeal.

B., a student from a public school in Bujumbura, says to be afraid. She and her classmates went to the beach to celebrate the end of high school. She is worried that pictures taken were published “Our outfit was not indecent. We tore our uniforms to show our joy at the end of the studies which were very difficult. Now that those pictures are circulating on social media, I fear that mine will also be shared. ”

The Friday explosion

On Friday, August 9th, after four days of doing exams giving access to the tertiary education, students met to celebrate the end of high school. It was on Friday, a day starting the weekend, especially in Bujumbura. Evening events are organized here and there. Students took the opportunity to tear apart their uniforms using scissors. It’s a kind of “ritual” since the past few years to celebrate the end of high school. But this time, it is widespread on social media and arouses strong reactions.


Reactions

The Ministry of Education: “The Education Ministry in collaboration with the morality police has started investigations.”

Tharcisse Niyongabo, Inspector general of basic education, considers premature the sanctions taken by the school principals.
He says it is still very early to take action against these students. Mr Niyongabo indicates that the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the morality police has initiated investigations to find out any student who has been involved in the “deterioration of moral standards” by tearing their uniforms. At the end of the investigation, he promises sanctions in accordance with the law. Principals must wait for the ministry’s decision before taking any action on the basis of school rules.

National Association of students’ parents: “This happens when one is young.”

Edouard Ndikumasabo, president of this association deplores the behavior displayed by some students. He says, however, that this case must be put in a framework of festivities organized by students outside the school. “They have at least waited for the end of the studies and the state exam. For that, they can benefit from our clemency as parents, teachers and educators” . This parent calls for tolerance towards these adolescent students who sometimes display inappropriate behaviors. “Although it is a behavior to be discouraged, it does not prevent that it happens when one is young.”

COSSESSONA, a teachers’ union coalition: “An undesirable behavior”

For Emmanuel Mashandari, the vice president of the coalition of Conapes, Synatef, Steb-Sleb-Sipesbu and Synapep, all teachers’ unions, this is an unusual behavior that presages the questioning of good habits that have always characterized the education system in Burundi. “It is unfortunate that there is a generation of post-basic school students that publicly tear to shreds their uniforms instead of thinking about their future.”
The coalition calls for the respect for school materials, uniformity, thinking about the living conditions of some households and developing the values of good relations. “School officials must refer to the law and school regulations before taking sanctions,” he adds.


“Punishing those students should not be the first priority”

Jean Bosco Ndayishimiye: “The behavior of these students is delinquency, pure and simple.”

For Jean Bosco Ndayishimiye, a psychosociologist, these students showed joy and sudden but exaggerated emotions. However, he says that their behavior can affect future generations. “Of course, they have the right to express their feelings, but they did it in a bad way, contrary to the Burundian values and customs.”

This psychosociologist also speaks of an act of adolescence linked to delinquency. He believes that the emotions of these students should not go as far as “undressing in public, perhaps on the road. “It’s delinquency, pure and simple,” he says. According to him, this behavior may be normal for these students, but it is abnormal for the society.

As for the repression, Jean Bosco Ndayishimiye wondered about the punishment to be reserved for adolescents who acted only by emotions “certainly exaggerated “, but outside the school.
For him, the school regulations must be clear on the facts that take place outside the school to punish these students. Otherwise, he explains, the law can intervene in matters of delinquency. “But repression always conditions a complaint. And the one who is wronged must demonstrate how and why this behavior of the students is detrimental to them. ”

Mr. Ndayishimiye finds it unjust to deprive them of diplomas because they have succeeded in class. “They absolutely deserve their diplomas.”

Instead of rushing to punish them, he believes that the state should rather set up re-education system for students to avoid recidivism for future classes.


Analysis by Guibert Mbonimpa

“Remember that your son is not your son, but the son of his time”

“This is madness! »; “It’s appalling! »; “What a youth!” These are the judgments of some adult people after they saw how the students tore apart their uniforms after finishing the state examination for the 2018-2019 school year.
This social phenomenon was widely spread on WhatsApp.

The 2017-2018 school year was marked by an order prohibiting them from having long hair and nail polish as well as wearing mini-skirts, make-up and earrings. All this happened after a “society moralization” campaign launched by President Pierre Nkurunziza.

“We are free at last!” seem to say young graduates. Such an expression seems to show that they were sick and tired of school life. This” moralization of society” that affects the school seems to go wrong with young people of Z generation (born between 1998 and 2016) who follow the latest fashion trends with a non-conformism spirit.

It is the category of the population most receptive to what Nietzsche refers to as the Place, Moment and Fashion.
To better understand this phenomenon, we should follow this advice by Confucius: “Remember that your son is not your son, but the son of his time.”

Story written by Agnès Ndirubusa and Clarisse Shaka.
Translated into English by Pierre Emmanuel Ngendakumana

Burundi

Seven provinces chosen for project on catastrophe prevention

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At a press briefing held on August 21st, the national platform for risk prevention and catastrophe management has said seven provinces will be prioritized in the project to reduce natural catastrophes and promote community resilience.

Anicet Nibaruta calls on the Burundian population to protect the environment

Anicet Nibaruta, Executive Secretary of the platform says the project will be implemented in Muyinga, Bujumbura, Rumonge, Bubanza, Cibitoke, Kirundo provinces and Bujumbura city.

He says those provinces were chosen because they are mostly threatened by natural catastrophes.
He gives the example of Kirundo province which is often affected by drought. Other examples are Cibitoke and Rumonge provinces where cholera usually occurs at the beginning of the rainy season and Bujumbura province where landslides are often reported, he adds.
“We plan to buy fire trucks which will help to put out fire which often destroys forests in Burundi,” he adds.

Mr. Nibaruta says the platform plans to visit those provinces and will collaborate with the local administration to promote community resilience.
He calls on the population to protect the environment.

“We are determined to support the government of Burundi in the improvement of the population’s living conditions,” says Binta Sanneh, Deputy Country Director of UNDP in Burundi.

She says the project will enhance national capacities for catastrophe management and prevention. It should equip the country with resilience and adaptation to climate change, she adds.
“UNDP will also support the government in the development of community resilience, reduction of natural catastrophes and human life protection,” says Mrs. Sanneh.

Jean Marie Sabushimike, member of the national platform and expert in catastrophe management, says the problems posed by climate change and natural catastrophes are still serious.
He says Bujumbura city is still vulnerable to natural catastrophes. “There is still a lot to do to increase community resilience,” he adds.

The press briefing was held on the occasion of the launch of the project “Support for disaster risk reduction and community resilience in Burundi” initiated by the Ministry of Public Security and Catastrophe Management in collaboration with UNDP.
Over $13 million will be spent for the project which will be carried out from 2019 to 2023.

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Burundi

CNL party denounces acts of political intolerance towards its members

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The National Congress for Freedom (CNL), an opposition party says to be worried about increasing political intolerance towards its members. It accuses members of the ruling CNDD-FDD youth wing, administrative and security authorities of persecuting them.

“CNL party meets with resistance from some administrative and security authorities with a political intolerance spirit displayed by their acts of disrupting CNL political activities,” Térence Manirambona, CNL spokesman told journalist. It was at a press conference held this August 21st.
He accuses members of the ruling CNDD-FDD youth wing and their representatives, administrative and security authorities of committing abuses against members of CNL party.

Mr Manirambona is concerned that acts of political intolerance are increasing in this pre-election period. He cites namely the suspension of CNL’s political activities for no valid reason, categorical refusal to open CNL offices especially in Rumonge, Bujumbura, Bujumbura City, Cibitoke, Ngozi, Rutana and Muyinga provinces.

He also denounces cases of burning and demolition of CNL party offices.
“Over 20 CNL offices have so far been vandalized,” he says.

CNL Executive secretary also talks about targeted intimidation and attacks against CNL members. He refers to the attack perpetrated against members of CNL party on their way back home from ceremonies of opening a provincial office in Muyinga province in the night of August 18. This attack caused one death and eight wounded.

“We deplore this unprecedented situation since our members had asked that the administrative and security authorities ensure their security in vain,” says Manirambona.
He condemns the spokesman for the Ministry of Public Security for protecting and encouraging the perpetrators of the abuses committed against CNL members.

At a press conference held on 20 August, Pierre Nkurikiye, spokesman for the Ministry of Public Security said that police investigations revealed that cases of political intolerance reported in the country are provoked by CNL members.

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Burundi

CENI recommends neutrality for members of provincial and communal commissions

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In a meeting with governors and leaders of political parties held on August 20th, The National Independent Electoral Commission-CENI has said people who will be members of provincial and communal electoral commissions should not work on behalf of their political parties.

Pierre Claver Kazihise: “CEPI and CECI members must organize neutral, credible and transparent elections”

Pierre Claver Kazihise, Chairman of the National Independent Electoral Commission-CENI says people who will be part of the provincial independent electoral commission (CEPI) and the communal independent electoral commission (CECI) will come from political parties, religious denominations, civil society organizations and the administration.

“They must organize neutral, credible and transparent elections,” he says adding that they will no longer undertake activities in their political parties.
CENI will dismiss whoever may continue to conduct political activities after their appointment to work for CEPI or CECI, he adds.
He asks political parties to give names of people who are competent and determined to work for the country.

“Each political party will give a list of 3 names with different genders and ethnic groups in each province,” says Mr. Kazihise.
However, people should know that working for CEPI or CECI is not a job but a service for the country, says another member of CENI.

Abel Gashatsi, Chairman of UPRONA party says a large number of people who will be in provincial and communal electoral commissions should come from political parties.
For him, some political parties may create civil society organizations so they will have many members in the two commissions.

He asks CENI to be careful so that no political party should have more than one member in the electoral commissions.
Mr. Gashatsi says the national electoral commission should collaborate with the administration to know political parties which are present in the province or commune.
“Political parties which are present in the province or commune should be part of CEPI and CECI,” he adds.

As for Noé Mbonigaba, MP and member of the National Congress for Freedom-CNL, the experience should not be part of the criteria to select CEPI and CECI members as there are some new political parties which might not have taken part in the past elections.

Some participants have asked CENI to consider the results of the previous elections to know which political parties are more influential than others, a proposition that Mbonigaba has opposed.
“The previous elections should not be a criterion since not all political parties participated in them,” he says.

CENI has organized the meeting with the provincial governors and political parties to discuss the establishment of the two electoral commissions in the country.
On June 28th, CENI presented the calendar for the 2020 elections according to which three polls are expected to be held on May 20, 2020, i.e. the presidential, parliamentary and communal council elections.

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Burundi

CNL party member killed and four wounded in Muyinga, Police say

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At least one member of the National Congress for Freedom (CNL) was killed and eight others wounded in an ambush staged by armed people. The incident took place in the night of 18 August in Rugari area in Muyinga commune of Muyinga province in northeastern Burundi. CNL party officials accuse youths of the ruling party CNDD-FDD of committing that crime.

Pierre Nkurikiye, spokesman for the Ministry of Public Security: “The investigation is underway to establish the truth about the incident”

Sources on the spot say that members of CNL party were ambushed by people armed with knives, machetes and cudgels on their return from Muyinga province chief town.
They had attended ceremonies of opening the party’s provincial office.

A CNL member who was part of an attacked group accuses the Imbonerakure, the youth of the ruling CNDD-FDD, of setting up this ambush.

“They were hidden in the bush. They surprised us when we were going home from political ceremonies held in Muyinga province to open the party’s office. The fighting subsequently began. One CNL member died on the spot and eight others were injured, “he says.

Frédéric Ntahondereye, the provincial secretary of CNL party says the crime was committed by the Imbonerakure. “Three arrested suspects have confessed that they are affiliated to the ruling party,” says Ntahondereye.

He deplores that CNL members are subjected to political persecution. “They should allow CNL party to conduct its political activities freely since it is officially approved,” he says adding that the party’s office that was just opened was vandalized in the same night. “Political intolerance should stop,” Mr Ntahondereye says.

Pierre Nkurikiye, Spokesman for the Ministry of Public Security, says a CNL member was killed and four others wounded in clashes between the CNL members and unidentified armed people on 18 August.
According to Nkurikiye, four apprehended suspects explain that they defended themselves when they got attacked by CNL members who were returning home late at night from Muyinga province. “The investigation is underway to establish the truth about the incident,” says the spokesman for the Ministry of Public Security.

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Burundi

Kenya/Burundi: Kenya, Burundi Draw in Cecafa U15

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Nairobi — The Kenya football Under-15 team settled for a 1-1 draw against Burundi in their third Group A match in the ongoing CECAFA Under-15 Championships in Asmara, Eritrea.

Gil Harel had given the Junior Stars a 1-0 advantage in the first half but a second-half strike by Florien Inyeyiteka ensured both sides had a share of the spoils.

Kenya had earlier on mastered two wins against Somalia (3-1 on Friday last week) and Sudan (4-0 on Sunday).

The draw consequently sees Burundi level on points with Kenya, having also won their two opening matches of the championships, albeit with an inferior goal difference.

Up next for the FKF Center of excellence is their final Group A match against hosts Eritrea on Thursday.

The top two teams from each of the two groups will automatically qualify to the semis, set to be played on August 28, while the final has been scheduled for August 30, 2019, in Asmara.

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