The Ministry of Energy Come Manirakiza have ordered that the Petroleum at Petroleum Stations are ordered to only sell their Petroleum products between 07.00 AM to 18.00 PM. As part of the order from the Ministry this was ordered: “Distribution of petroleum products is carried out solely at petrol stations and only during the day, ie from 7.00 am to 6.00 pm. Any distribution of these products outside the above mentioned times and places will be severely penalized in accordance with the law, in particular by closing the service station, seizing the product, administering the fine, without prejudice to criminal proceedings” (Ministere de l’Energie et des Mines – N/Ref: 760/CAB/710/2017).
So the state plans to fine the stations that are selling later and not in scheduled time will be fined and penalized. This is measured done because of the fuel crisis, since the state struggles with imports. To prove how volatile the situation is this part of the measure from the Ministry to the Petroleum Stations:
“All distributors of petroleum products are required to distill, without interruption, all the quantity purchased from the importers. For this purpose, they must keep daily records of the distillation indexes of these products informing them, with accuracy on the indexes of departure and closing of the day” (Ministere de l’Energie et des Mines – N/Ref: 760/CAB/710/2017).
There are reports why the Republic under President Pierre Nkurunziza lacks fuel:
“Daniel Mpitabakana, director in charge of petroleum in Burundi’s Ministry of Energy and Mines, attributed the crisis to “a technical problem at the Burundi Revenue Authority.” (…) “Another source said that fuel importers have run short of foreign currency to buy fuel, hence the shortage” (Havyarimana, 2017). So the other source are most like more honest than the Director who doesn’t want the CNDD-FDD to lose face abroad.
But the fuel crisis has been rolling for awhile as the reports goes back into early March, as the world are finally catching on it. Therefore, the reports earlier in March proves how bad it really it is:
““For over two weeks, we have no fuel. I do not know what has happened, “said one“KOBIL” gas station attendant” at Kamenge. The same situation is observed at ‘ENGEN’ gas station in Kamenge, north of Bujumbura. The pump attendant says it has been almost one month they have no fuel” (…) “Only the ENGEN and KOBIL gas stations were not providing fuel but others were supplying fuel to their customers. “We have not had fuel for over two weeks. The ‘KOBIL’ company could not stock up fuel because of the lack of foreign currency,”says the manager of the KOBIL gas station in Musaga, south of Bujumbura” (Manishatse, 2017). So if the East African Report took from this sort of report, the fuel crisis has been running before beginning of February 2017.
Here some other local reports that directly says it all: “OLUCOME, a local corruption watchdog, says mismanagement of the fuel department is the source of the problems. It accuses the director of the department of having shown favouritism and reduced from eight to two (Delta and Interpetrol) the number of companies allowed to import fuel” (Habonimana, 2017). So there are not only the foreign exchange, but also the Director Mpitabakana who has made decisions to cut importers. Therefore, the ones who are left are making it more fragile to get fuel into the republic. Not only just the lacking foreign currency, but also the favoritism of certain importing companies. Peace.
Havyarimana, Moses – ‘Fuel shortage adds to Burundi’s woes’ (02.05.2017) link: http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/business/Fuel-shortage-Burundi-economy/2560-3910928-iuyh07/index.html
Habonimana, Innocent – ‘Cause of fuel shortage: “No one will tell you the truth”’ (02.05.2017) link: http://www.iwacu-burundi.org/englishnews/cause-of-fuel-shortage-no-one-will-tell-you-the-truth/
Manishatse, Lorraine Josiane – ‘Fuel shortage in Bujumbura city’ (07.03.2017) link:http://www.iwacu-burundi.org/englishnews/fuel-shortage-in-bujumbura-city/
Joseph Szlavik and his lobby firm in Washington D.C. are using his close-connected network in the Senate and the House, to trade secrets and interference of knowledge from not so favorable sources. The Scribe Strategies and Advisors are have certainly no scruples in their dealings. As the vast funding from Republic’s and their leadership. Proves that he can bought by anyone who opens their check-book. There is no story he cannot open and abuse, to make sure that his company earns fortunes.
Therefore, be aware that certain connected journalists has been touched by this lobbyist like the Sioban O’Grady, who has had interviews interconnected on several occasions during the last year. As well as Kevin Kelley in Daily Nation, who has been used as tools for the agenda of the Lobbying firm.
Promotes the cause of CNDD-FDD:
This lobbying company has a long history in Burundi, as they have wanted to retain the company as far back on 12 December 2005, when Minister of External Relations and International Cooperation Antoinette Batungbwira wrote a credible praise and wanted to extend their work together.
The government of Burundi, had the funds and the ability to push their agenda in Washington D.C. during the 2015-2016 as their noble lobbyist Joseph Szlavik, signed his earnings to the proper American authorities. On 10th November 2015, the CNDD-FDD paid the lobbyist $ 59,980.00, as he was also paid on the 5th February 2016 $ 60,000.00 and on 25th April 2016 $ 92,230.00. Also, his fees continued as on the 8th August 2016 got $ 90,000.00 and 19th December 2016 the total salary $ 60,000.00.
The lobbyist has during the 2 year period earned astonishing $ 362,000.00!
The CNDD-FDD could afford to pay a man to spread their message and play after their tune in the congress and senate! This shows the power of the monies, as the lobbyist himself explained his position and what he did to earn this amount of money: “Registrant (Scribe Strategies & Advisors) counseled and advised the Government of Burundi on U.S. Policy and informed congressional and executive branch officials and staff and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on development in Burundi, and promoted relations between the United States and Burundi. Registrant provided public relations support and strategies to the Government of Burundi” (13.04.2017 – NSD/FARA Registration Unit).
“Registrant (Scribe Strategies & Advisors) arranged for Foreign Minister Alain Nyamitwe to speak at the Atlantic Council on June 22, 2015 and on the VOA’s “Straight Talk Africa” on June 23, 2015, and Newsmax TV on June 24, 2015, about recent political developments in Burundi; arranged for presidential spokesman Willy Nyamitwe to speak to the Atlantic Council on January 22, 2016, and on the VOA’s “Straight Talk Africa” on January 20, 2016, and on France24 TV on January 21, 2016, all of the topic of the recent developments in Burundi” (03.03.2016 – NSD/FARA Registration Unit).
Promote the cause of the NRM:
The Government of Uganda and their Foreign Affairs has used the same man to pursuit their agenda in Washington D.C. as they paid the man on the 5th May 2016 $ 62,500.00. In 2015 they also paid him well for the help of spreading the message of Foreign Minster Kuteesa on the 24th June 2015 paid $ 55,200.00, also $ 69,800.00 on 7th August 2015 and on 9th December 2015 $ 64,535.11. The Government of Uganda totally paid the amount $ 250,000.00 to the lobbyist over 2 years!
“Registrant (Scribe Strategies & Advisors) arranged for Foreign Minister Sam Kuteesa to appear on Voice of America program. “Straight Talk Africa” September 16, 2015; the topic was Kutesa’s tenure as President of the United States General Assembly; also arranged for Kutesa to speak at the Atlantic Council on September 15, 2015, on the same topic” (03.03.2016 – NSD/FARA Registration Unit).
That the company uses their reach and their messages as back in day, in 2015, when Scribe Strategies and Advisors, they used Kevin J. Kelley to write a piece in the Daily Nation:
“Mr Szlavik noted that his firm did have a contract about 10 years ago to lobby for Uganda in the US. In accordance with that deal, Mr Szlavik explained, Scribe sought to persuade the Bush administration to list the Lord’s Resistance Army and the Alliance of Democratic Forces as terrorist organisations. The US does designate the LRA and ADF in that way” (…) “Earlier this year, Mr Szlavik added, he discussed with Uganda’s ambassador in Washington the possibility of Scribe again doing lobbying work for Uganda in the United States. But no agreement has been made, Mr Szlavik said. “There’s no contract, no numbers, no payment,” he declared” (Kelley, 2015).
There should be discussion and counsel going on as just a brief month after the interview and article in the Daily Nation, the company earned about $ 60,000 paid by the Ugandan government. So the company knew all about it in 2015, but wanted to spin the news and their role.
The Company was more upfront about their role in spinning the news for Burundi, as the Scribe Lobbying firm in 2015, addressed matters close to the heart of government of Burundi and again, they used their fellow journalist in the Daily Nation:
“The allegations by Joseph Szlavik, head of Scribe Strategies & Advisors, followed reports of fighting between government troops and an unidentified armed group near Burundi’s border with Rwanda” (…) “Mr Szlavik noted in an interview with the Nation that the Burundian leader’s right to run for re-election had been affirmed in May by the country’s Constitutional Court” (…) “Western powers call for respect for the rule of law, and this was the ruling by the Constitutional Court of Burundi,” Mr Szlavik said” (Kelley, 2015).
So Szlavik, the man paid by the Government was clearly knowingly keeping it cool with Burundian authorities, not only spreading their agenda, but also their motives to keep power. Using the tools of legislation and not addressing the grievances of the people demonstrating at the time. Therefore, showing that the ones feeding him was more important than actual justice. That they also, this used the fellow friend in the Daily Nation, show’s how systematic the Scribe Strategies and Advisors work in the East African region.
This is just a quick look into the matter and not really digging deep into the polishing tricks of the company and their employees, as their staff and connections into the House and Senate in the United States was massive. The role to play and their reasoning as the paychecks from CNDD-FDD and NRM comes, they easily comply with the methods and needs from Bujumbura and Kampala. With no care of the implications and ramifications to the innocent in Burundi nor Uganda. Certainly, this is blood-money and I hope they are cursed. Peace.
Kelley, Kevin J. – ‘US lobbying firm denies Uganda is currently a client’ (01.04.2015) link:http://www.africareview.com/news/US-lobbying-firm-denies-Uganda-is-currently-a-client/979180-2672786-3ti6at/index.html
Kelley, Kevin J. – ‘Burundi claims Rwanda aiding rebels’ (13.07.2015)