If your thinking the 2015 General Election in Burundi was bad. The launch of 2020 is already hectic, as the public are extra taxed and the imbonerakure is doing the CNDD-FDD bidding. There is enough warning signs, but the recent revelation of media black-out of the results. That is what will happen now.
That is because the authorise sets this up. This is a media blackout. The way of silencing the stopping the leakage of results. The counting and the ballots will taken care of in darkness. There will be no lights and the only reports the ones that is accepted and acknowledged by the state itself. This is securing the whole thing and shutting down everything else. This is the message the state sends. No transparency and no check-up, as the media cannot do their job and only be a microphone of what the state already wants out.
“Article 10 of the code of conduct established by the National Media Regulator – CNC to the Burundian media and journalists, stipulates that journalists aren’t allowed either to publish or air by any channel whatsoever, including the internet, the provisional or final results of an election other than those officially announced by the National Independent Electoral Commission or its local Commissions” (Diana Uwimana – ‘2020 elections: Politicians disagree over announcement of election results’ 18.10.2019, IWACU English News).
You cannot expect a clean and orderly election, when the state has to take all control and silence the media, months ahead of the polls. Because, that is what this is. It is nothing else. The media is not allowed to shed lights on what is happening in the provinces or anywhere else. The CNDD-FDD will control it and say what the numbers are. The CENI and CNDD-FDD will initially tell what the final say was. The media cannot say or state what the prognoses are or the possible outcome, because that is a breach of contract with the state. Then the media is actually doing something illegal.
That shows the state of affairs, that the hidden agenda, that the act behind closed doors is so important. That even a sure given win, that a literal one-party state, where the opposition is either in exile or dead. Only one accepted opposition party (CNL), which also get into trouble and loses supporters now and then. The CNDD-FDD still has to secure how the victory is reported and how they have achieved the win in 2020.
It is naive to think otherwise. That would give to much way to President Pierre and his cronies. Peace.
“You young people, do not worry, there must not be any reports that you have abused CNL activists. You are leaders in this country. You are the masters of this forest, you are lions, valiant. Know that a lion does not eat a cat, a rat” – Sylvestre Ndayizeye
It is now reported, that Sylvestre Ndayizeye who lately stated these words in a speech at a function in late September 2019. This in preparation of the General Election of 2020. The continuation of the Presidency and the ruling regime. Where the roaring lion of the CNDD-FDD will not stop intimidating, using force or even silencing the opposition. Because, nothing is as friendly, as name-calling your enemies as rats or cats. That is really showing the arrogance and the usage of words from the people ruling the Republic.
This is not a one-time thing. Certainly not the last either from a regime that has silenced and killed the opposition. However, since the General Elections are coming up and the regime wants a softer touch in the up-coming events. Because, it needs more positive press and less violence. This means the Imbonerakure or the CNDD-FDD Youth-Wing needs to take it easy. Instead of their previous and current actions of direct violence against the ones opposing the ruling regime.
“We must not let you walk on your feet. It is necessary to avoid any eventuality, to show muscle, if necessary, to roar like the lion, to frighten them. You have to keep them safe so that they can live. Because if you do not do it, it will be difficult for you to convince them to join our party” – Sylvestre Ndayizeye
As we see, the CNDD-FDD really wants to show another side in the up-coming election. They don’t want the news and headlines, which it had in and around the General Election of 2015. The CNDD-FDD and such wants to look golden. But as long as they can intimidate the opposition, roar like lions, but also get them all to join them. Because, if they don’t join them, you got to flex, roar and scare them.
The CNDD-FDD surely shows their character with sort of statements. We have already seen their actions and how it has persisted since 2015. The opposition have vanished or gotten killed. Very few are here. If not they have fled to exile. That is why, the up-coming election is more an charade and rubber-stamping the leadership of the current day.
So, that they can continue with their ways. For now they want some friendly headlines ahead of the elections to look good. Peace.
On Friday 20th September 2019, the World Bank forwarded an advance to start the Nkuriza or the Advance Agreement for Preparation of Proposed Investing in Early Years and Fertility Project Project Preparation Advance No. V2270-BI. The letter of the advance was sent to Minister of Finance, Budget and Development Planning Domitien Ndihokubwayo.
Clearly, the World Bank has been planning this project with the authorities for over a long time. Where they want to help the people of Burundi and the get the fertility rate down. Also, secure the food and nutrition in the 6 provinces of the Republic. What is also striking, the minimal advance of $350,000 USD is going to see the progress of the project and the International Development Association (IDA) going to later give a grant of $30m USD.
The World Bank knows how this regime is going about. So the WB is dropping funds and granting funds to them, as they are going into elections and having a project, which isn’t that viable. The idea and the possible plans of is ideal, but the own documentation proves that they don’t believe it themselves.
Expectation from the World Bank:
“This overall project is classified as a category “B” given that activities are not expected to produce any large-scale, significant, and/or irreversible impacts” (World Bank, 30.08.2019).
Where and what:
“The main project beneficiaries will consist of children under-two and women of reproductive age in 6 provinces (Bubanza, Cankuzo, Cibitoke, Kirundo, Makamba and Muyinga) to reach them in the critical 1,000day window of opportunity, as most cognitive and physical development occur between conception and two years of age. Interventions related to FP will focus on both women of reproductive age and men. Other beneficiaries will include adolescent girls to reach women early and to improve their health and nutrition status prior to entering their reproductive health years. The poorest households will benefit from improvements in access to water, hygiene, sanitation and small-scale agriculture interventions” (World Bank, 30.08.2019).
What it will do:
“(a) Carry out a program of technical assistance to: (i) develop Project related safeguards
instruments; (ii) study the determinants of chronic malnutrition and high fertility in project areas; (iii) develop a food composition database; (iv) undertake institutional and capacity building needs
assessments; and (v) prepare a Project implementation manual.
(b) Workshops between religious leaders and the Ministry of Health and Fight against HIV/AIDS” (World Bank, 20.09.2019).
So, its not that expect anything out of it. The project itself is positive and the needs for it surely there. However, I get automatically sceptical, when the organization donating to it, doesn’t think it will give any results. That is why you can wonder, why does the IDA grant possibly these funds and why will the WB give an advance in the first place?
Shouldn’t the same organization give funds to other projects, which is classified in another bracket, where they actually think it will have effect and get results. I understand, also that this sort of projects is hard to establish the possible results or the change in society. However, if they believe in this sort of activity. I would be as sceptical anywhere, because this seems like they are testing out something random and hoping they are able to make a difference.
In addition, they will be lucky if that happens. Since, they are not anticipating this to be the remedy. So, in one way it giving money down a wishing well, hoping someone see their prayer. Peace.