8 August 2017

Burundi: We Won't Tax Your Businesses, Burundi Govt Assures Returnees

The Burundi government has said it will waive taxes on capital or businesses of Burundians returning home.

The announcement comes weeks after President Pierre Nkurunziza visited Tanzania and asked Burundian refugees to go back home and contribute to development.

During celebrations in Bujumbura to mark the Burundi Diaspora Week, First Vice-President Gaston Sindimwo said the government would provide land to returnees willing to invest in their homeland.

In 2015 more than 400,000 Burundians fled after fighting broke out. The government is now wooing them to return.

The incentives by Bujumbura have been praised as good measures to attract its citizens in the diaspora.

"The diaspora should contribute to their country of origin," said Kristina Mejo, chief of mission at the International Organisation for Migration in Burundi.

The UN Secretary-General's special envoy Michel Kafando addressed the UN Security Council on the current political situation in Burundi after meeting with President Nkurunziza and other stakeholders in and outside the country, for an all-inclusive dialogue as the only way to restore peace and stability to the country.

However, the government has since 2016 snubbed the invitation to sit with opposition members it accuses of having plotted the failed coup in 2015.

"We negotiated with him while he was fighting the government and he (Nkurunziza) was condemned to death but we accepted to negotiate with him," former Burundi President Domitien Ndayizeye told The EastAfrican in Bujumbura.

Rights violations

The Burundi Senate last week rejected a resolution passed by the EU Parliament on the political situation in the country and urged the Burundi government to co-operate with the UN commission of Inquiry into human rights violations.

Europe expressed concern at the political and the security situation in the country, and that killings and other human rights abuses had taken place in Burundi since 2015 calling on the government to fully co-operate with the UN Commission of Inquiry to conduct the investigations.


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