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» 01.03.2010 - Burundi opposition fields woman candidate for elections
» 22.01.2010 - Legislators discuss common market protocol in Burundi
» 11.12.2009 - Burundi faces funding shortfall for elections
» 30.10.2009 - Last Burundian refugees repatriated
» 16.10.2009 - HRW calls on Burundi to halt deportation of refugees
» 02.10.2009 - US awards contract for the construction of new embassy in Burundi
» 30.07.2009 - SA formally withdraws from Burundi
» 14.05.2009 - Over 200 political prisoners in Burundi released

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Burundi | Uganda

Uganda's contribution to Burundi fees of EAC questioned

afrol News, 7 August - Ugandan members of parliament have questioned over US $2.2 million set aside by government to pay East African Community (EAC) membership fees for Burundi.

Minister of General Duties, Adolf Mwesige, told MPs that Uganda has been asked to contribute towards Burundi's share to EAC budget for financial years 2007/2008 and 2008/2009.

MPs on Parliamentary committee on Foreign Affairs were shocked to learn that Uganda is going to contribute towards payment of part of one of the East African Community member's share of contributions to EAC Budget.

Mr Mwesigye, said in Kigali summit, Burundi's president Pierre Nkurunziza informed EAC heads of state that his country could only afford to pay US $1m this financial year, almost one third of what it is expected to pay. Each member of EAC pays US$8m as subscription fees annually.

"It was agreed that Kenya, Uganda, Tanzinia and Rwanda, who are all members, should contribute $8m (sh13b) towards Burundi's subscription fees," he said.

Mr Reagan Okumu, one of the MPs, wondered why Burundi pushed for joining the federation yet it is unable to take up financial responsibility. "Uganda has to pay subscription fees this financial year. Where will government get extra money to pay for Burundi?" he questioned.

Mr Okumu further accused government of failing to involve parliament in the matter, saying issues of assisting other states are of national concern, therefore indicating that the process should be consultative. "Uganda cannot act as a donor country yet it is still grappling with matters like poverty eradication," he emphasised.

Committee chairman Steven Kaliba said finance minister, Dr Ezra Suruma, should be summoned to explain the matter, including financial management while the country is struggling to feed its own people.

Burundi, one of the world's poorest nations, which has just emerged from a 12-year ethnic-based civil war, has been plagued by tension between the dominant Tutsi minority and Hutu majority since its independence in 1961.

Ethnic violence sparked off in 1994 made Burundi the scene of one of Africa's most intractable conflicts.

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