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MEDIA RELEASE CONSECUTIVE TO THE CABINET MEETING HELD ON WEDNESDAY 06 AND THURSDAY 07 FEBRUARY 2019

A Cabinet Meeting was held on Wednesday 06 and Thursday 07 February 2019 under the chairmanship of His Excellency Pierre Nkurunziza, President of the Republic of Burundi. The following items were analyzed :

1. Draft Decree on the organization, missions and functioning of the General Inspectorate of Public Security and Disaster Management, presented by the Minister of Public Security and Disaster Management.

The body responsible for internal auditing within the Ministry of Public Security and Disaster Management has existed since the creation of the National Police in 2014 and at that time was called the General Inspectorate of the National Police. With the creation of the Ministry of Public Security in 2009, its name changed to General Inspection of the Ministry of Public Security.

Later, Law No. 1/08 of 28 April 2011 on the general organization of Public Administration provided for the setting up of an internal auditing body within each ministry.

It is in this context that Decree No. 100/083 of 20 July 2018 on the organization of the Ministry of Public Security and Disaster Management also provides for such a structure.

The General Inspectorate of Public Security and Disaster Management will therefore be empowered to carry out internal control in all the structures under the authority of the Ministry having the National Police in its attributions.

After analysis and debate, the project was adopted pending a tidying-up which will be carried out by a team set up for this purpose.

2. Draft Decree on the organization, missions and functioning of the Higher Institute of Police, presented by the Minister of Public Security and Disaster Management.

Since 1979, it has been created a training structure for police recruits called School of Municipal Police. Over time, the appellations have changed according to the missions and the vision of the Government, becoming successively School of Police of Public Security, National School of Police and finally, Higher Institute of Police from 2004 to the present day. The Institute is today governed by a ministerial ordinance.

The organic law n ° 1/03 of February 20, 2017 on missions, organization and functioning of the National Police of Burundi provides that this Institute shall be organized by a decree.

Moreover, the law n ° 1/22 of November 30, 2011 on the reorganization of higher education in Burundi specifies that regulatory texts will be elaborated to adapt the training institutions tasked with training Army and Police Officers to this new law which organizes higher education in three cycles : Baccalaureate, Master and PhD.

This project complies with both pieces of legislation.

Following exchange and debate, the Council noted that the text needed to be reworked because the proposed organization does not correspond to that of an Institute. A team has been set up to edit the text which will be brought back to the Council of Ministers within two weeks.

3. Draft Decree bearing missions, organization and operation of the Training and Development Center for Peacekeeping Missions, presented by the Minister of Public Security and Disaster Management.

The Burundi National Police has demonstrated to the world its skills and professionalism both in the country and in peacekeeping operations within the framework of the United Nations and the African Union. Its fairly satisfactory level of skill and professionalism was the result of ongoing training of police personnel. It needs to be sustained, enhanced and constantly adapted to security challenges around the world.

In order to stay on course, the Government of Burundi has set up the Training and Development Center for Peacekeeping Missions organized by a Ministerial Ordinance of 26/1/2016.

This Center has ambitions to be a Regional Center of Excellence that can train candidates from other member countries of the East African Community or other regional organizations to which Burundi is a member. It can also train elements of the civilian and military component.

This is why it is proposed that this Center be created by a decree, especially since its operation may go beyond the internal police framework and may extend to other ministries concerned by the deployment but also at the regional and international level.

After exchange and debate, the project was adopted with some corrections to make.

4. Draft Decree on the organization, missions and functioning of the Chaplaincy of the National Police of Burundi, presented by the Minister of Public Security and Disaster Management.

The National Police of Burundi is governed by the organic law n ° 1/03 of February 20, 2017 bearing mission, organization, composition and functioning of the National Police of Burundi. This law provides for a structure called the Chief Chaplaincy of the National Police of Burundi with the mission to teach, accompany, guide the police community and assist police authorities in all that can maintain morale, cohesion and discipline. It attaches it to the General Inspectorate of the National Police of Burundi whereas previously it was attached to the Office of the Minister.

This tutelage to the General Inspectorate of the National Police of Burundi aims to allow chaplains to mentally and spiritually accompany police officers and their families efficiently in their respective constituencies. This project proposes that the Chief Chaplain be assisted by Assistant Chief Chaplains. At the decentralized level, there will be regional chaplaincies under the Regional Police Command as provided by the law.

At the end of the discussions, the project was adopted but a team was appointed to re-examine the issue of the ranks of these Chaplains.

5. Draft Decree establishing and organizing the "ABREMA" Drug and Food Regulatory Authority of Burundi, presented by the Minister of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS.

In Burundi, the regulation of the pharmaceutical sector is overseen by the Ministry of Public Health through the Department of Pharmacy, Drug and Laboratory and the General Inspectorate of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS.

Although the ministry manages to accomplish its mission globally, some more specific functions are not ensured due to the lack of an autonomous technical department.

The proliferation on the Burundian market of foods manufactured industrially, of several origins and often not homologated can be at the origin of certain diseases. To better protect public health, it is necessary that the components of food and medicine be regulated under the same authority.

On the other hand, the ongoing reforms in the field of public health in the countries of the East African Community related to the harmonization of the regulation of medicines and other health products are not feasible if this problem is not supported by an autonomous authority. In this Community, only Burundi has not yet established this authority.

The present project sets up this structure which will be responsible for the regulation of all aspects related to quality assurance and safety of products such as prefabricated and packaged foods, medicines for human and veterinary use, phytosanitary products, cosmetics, herbal medicines, traditional remedies, medical devices or materials or substances used in the manufacture of products whose consumption may be harmful to human and animal health.

After exchange and debate, the Council noted that the project needed to be re-examined and a team was put in place to rework it. It will be brought back within one month at the same time as the text that reorganizes the Burundian Bureau of Quality Standardization.

6. Income Tax Bill, presented by the Minister of Finance, Budget and Economic Development Cooperation.

The law n ° 1/02 of January 24th, 2013 relative to the income tax was promulgated within the framework of the tax reforms that the government of Burundi initiated since 2009.

Its implementation has made it possible to detect certain provisions that give rise to certain malfunctions or provisions with legal loophole thereby causing significant damage to the collection of tax revenue. This project proposes the modification of certain provisions or the introduction of new provisions in order to levy these taxes efficiently.
The project introduces electronic invoicing to limit the fraud relating to turnover and rental income. It clarifies the category of microfinance subject to income tax and sheds light on how co-operative societies are taxed.

After exchange and debate, the project was adopted with some alterations to operate.

7. Value Added Tax (VAT) Bill, presented by the Minister of Finance, Budget and Economic Development Cooperation.

This project is proposed to revise the law n ° 1/12 of July 29th, 2013 revising the law n ° 1/02 of February 17th, 2009 establishing the value added tax "VAT". The aim is to strengthen the VAT legal framework to make it more efficient and easier to apply.

The other objective is to ensure better alignment of Burundian VAT with international and sub-regional practices. The project also takes into account the establishment of the Office Burundais des Recettes because the law in force did not refer to it.

Following discussions, the project was adopted.

8. Bill on Tax and Non-Tax Procedures, presented by the Minister of Finance, Budget and Economic Development Cooperation.

This Bill is proposed with the objective of creating a legal framework for non-tax revenue collection. The Bill therefore introduces new provisions into the Law on Current Tax Procedures, while for others it is proposed amendments regarding recovery. The litigation chapter has been reformed with the aim of giving taxpayers in customs disputes equal chances of recourse to those provided for internal taxes.

Finally, the purpose of this revision is to remove inconsistencies in the implementation of the current law to make it easier to enforce. In particular, certain terms used and which were confusing were defined to avoid any misinterpretation.

Following exchange and debate, the project was adopted with some corrections to make.

9. Bill revising the law n ° 1/33 of 28/11/2014 on the organization of the communal administration, presented by the Minister of the Interior, Patriotic Formation and Local Development.
Burundi is preparing to hold a democratic general election in 2020 for the fourth time since the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Accord and for the first time after the referendum that led to the promulgation of the current Constitution on 07 June 2018. The revision of some texts directly related to this electoral process is therefore essential to comply with this Constitution which constitutes a fundamental legal framework.

The communal law contains a number of provisions relating to the good management and organization of the Commune. This Bill proposes the amendment, deletion or addition of certain provisions to comply with the Constitution of 07 June 2018 and for an efficient organization of the Municipality.

The provisions specific to the City of Bujumbura have been pruned from the text under revision as there will be a specific law for Burundian cities.

Following a debate, the Bill was endorsed with corrections to be made.

10. Draft Ministerial Ordinance on the Management of State-owned Lands for Agro-Sylvo-Pastoral Purposes, presented by the Minister of the Environment, Agriculture and Livestock.

The agricultural sector is of great importance to the Burundian economy. This is why ; through the National Development Plan, Burundi has the ambition to develop its economy based on the modernization of agriculture. This objective cannot be achieved if the country does not ensure perfect control of the factors of production, including the land factor.

In legal and regulatory terms, shortcomings are observed in the land sector, thus giving the opportunity to many actors to steal lands with an agro-sylvo-pastoral vocation.

To correct these shortcomings, the government is engaged in a process of recovery of certain state property that had been stolen. This project introduces methods for the identification, management and conservation of agro-sylvo-pastoral land. It also indicates the main actors who must work, as the case may be, in the form of a partnership to ensure a good increase of the agro-sylvo-pastoral production in this case the State, the organizations of agricultural producers and the private partners.

After exchange and debate, the project was adopted, but a team was appointed for legal tidying-up.

11. Draft Decree on the Statutes, Organization and Functioning of the National Agency for the Promotion and Regulation of Cooperative Societies, "ANACOOP", presented by the Services of the Second Vice-Presidency of the Republic.

The National Agency for Promotion and Regulation of Cooperative Societies, "ANACOOP" is a structure responsible for the control, monitoring and regulation of the activities of cooperative societies. Among other tasks, it advises the Government in the formulation of its general policy in relation to cooperative societies and monitors the implementation of this policy with a view to proposing its adaptation to new needs in the framework of national development plans.

It also studies and proposes all legislative and regulatory reforms concerning the organization, operation and development of cooperative societies, including the granting of tax benefits. The present project therefore defines the organization and functioning of this Agency which is a structure already provided for by the law governing cooperative societies in Burundi.

After analysis and debate, the project was adopted with a team appointed to finalize identified form flaws.

12. Any Other Business

• The Minister of the Interior, Patriotic Education and Local Development informed the Council that the relocation of his services to Gitega is underway and requested the support of the services in charge of Public Works to refurbish premises to occupy. He also asked that Thursday be dedicated to contour tracing, each in her/his property, to protect the soil against erosion.

• The Minister of Public Security and Disaster Management reported cheating observed at Notaries especially when it comes to the authentication of sales contracts. It was requested that the text governing the Notaries be reviewed to put more order.

• The Minister of Hydraulics, Energy and Mining informed the Council of the problem observed in rural electrification where untreated wooden poles cause accidents. It was recommended that the services involved come together to solve this problem.
Done at Gitega, February 07, 2019
Prosper NTAHORWAMIYE
Secretary-General and Spokesman
of the Government.-

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Ijambo rya Nyenicubahiro Umukuru w’Igihugu Petero Nkurunziza Uburundi buhimbaza umunsi w’amasezerano y’ubumwe bw’abarundi 2019.

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