Burundi's opposition leaders have been outraged by a secret political and ethnic census in the civil service, warning against the bad consequences of such a move in a country that has been struggling to emerge from a decade of civil war in which the Tutsi minority were pitted against the Hutu majority.
Opposition leaders' reaction after news broke out that cabinet ministers distributed letters to top government officials authorising them to supply identification details for their staff. Top officials have been warned to conduct the census with maximum to avoid creating commotion in the civil service.
The census - ordered by a senate commission of inquiry into the civil service's compliance with constitutional provisions on power-sharing - was believed to have began some few days ago.
The spokeswoman of the main opposition Uprona party, Catherine Mabobori described the political and ethnic census as "very alarming". She said it was carried out on a "misguided interpretation of the constitution."
Mabobori said though the constitution guaranteed ethnic balance of political post, but there is no reason why the civil service must not retain neutrality. "This census risks awakening ethnic demons," she warned.
Since 2005, Burundian government has been dominated by the Hutus who accounts for 85% of the population while the Tutsis 14%. And under the country's constitution, 60% of the government jobs should be controlled by the Hutus while Tutsis get the rest.
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