Leontine Nzeyimana, Burundian Minister for the Presidency in charge of the affairs of the East African community is up in arms against EAC Secretary General, Amb Richard Sezibera.
In an interview with Rwanda’s Isango Star Radio, Nzeyimana accused the Sezibera of plotting to exclude Burundi EAC.
Sezibera in turn clarified that these were the requirements of donors caused by forcing the July election won by President Pierre Nkurunziza and declared null by world powers.
“All meetings should be held in Burundi have been relocated to other countries in the region,” Nzeyimana started by pointing out.
“Half of our meetings are held in Arusha at the EAC headquarters and the other half is shared equally between the five member countries of the EAC.”
She said it was incomprehensible that all meetings be relocated while the EAC Council of Ministers had agreed that these meetings are held in Burundi.
According to Nzeyimana, all standing committees of the EAC are already at work in the countries where they have to work, but the health and research committee in Bujumbura has not yet started its activities for lack of means.
“It is the Secretary General that blocks the situation,” she insisted.
“Lately,” Nzeyimana continued, “the Secretary General of the EAC held a meeting without the EAC inviting Burundian officials. Courtesy obliges us to be still aware of this meeting and we, Burundi, we would not miss the mission expenses and airfare for our delegates.”
Sezibera shakes off the accusations
Meanwhile, the EAC SG Sezibera says he was surprised by all the accusations labelled against him.
“I had a letter from the German cooperation affirming to me that Burundian officials will no longer be covered by the fees that are given to us by GIZ.”
Sezibera recalls even talking with Burundian officials who are with at the Secretariat General of EAC about the matter.
German cooperation through its cooperation agency GIZ aid, threatened to withdraw help to Burundi following Nkurunziza’s pursuit of third term.
Meanwhile, Belgium has decided to review its bilateral cooperation with Burundi while Netherlands has already signalled they will not contribute in the area of security and defense of Burundi’s security organs.
As for the meetings that Burundi should shelter, Sezibera says nobody ignores the events that are in Burundi, the EAC delegations should not be a fait accompli.
“I and other members of the General Secretariat of the EAC always go to Bujumbura to try to play our role and bring peace to the community member countries.”
He continued: “Even Burundians who were with me were reluctant to leave their country. They are assisted by the community until the situation calms down.”