Burundi – The President of Burundi Pierre NKURUNZIZA made a deposit of 5 million Burundi Francs, the equivalent of 2,881 US$, in cash, in the bank account opened at the Bank of the Republic of Burundi (BRB) to finance the elections scheduled in 2020. This happened on the afternoon of Monday 7 August 2017 in the prince of Ngozi at one of the Bank of the Republic of Burundi agencies.
On July 1st, 2017 during the celebration of the 55th anniversary of the independence of Burundi, HE. Pierre Nkurunziza called on the population to self-finance the 2020 elections. During that occasion, he publicly announced the account number 1110/267 opened at the BRB where citizens could deposit their contributions for the 2020 self-financing elections.
The self-financing elections is a Burundi government policy which aims to significantly reduce the country dependence on international financial assistance for elections decreasing thus the chances of potential international influences in the electoral process while affirming the country sovereignty.
However, this policy, as well as the action of the Burundi president, were heavily criticized by members of the opposition and civil societies. The most salient critics aimed the deposit in cash.
“If a president can walk around with 5 million Burundi francs in cash, how much does he have in his palace?” questioned, Pacifique Nininahazwe on Twitter.
Pacifique Nininahazwe, one of the prominent member of the Civil society also tweeted that the picture of the president of Burundi depositing cash in the bank depicts dictators with suitcases full of money in their houses.”