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Controversies outlaw Burundi gov’t contract with American communication firm

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By GLV Correspondent

Bujumbura-Burundi and the American Society AAE Systems signed on January 7 an act of renunciation of a controversial contract for communication equipment of over $ 500 million and denounced by the leading organization to fight against corruption in the country.
This “act of renunciation,” which AFP has been copied, was signed by the Burundian Minister of Planning, Peter Mupira, and the Director General of AAE Systems, Bryan Jones, Jan. 7.

The Observatory for the fight against corruption and economic mismanagement “was informed that the Government of Burundi and the American Society AAE Systems Inc. have signed a written waiver of the contract for the purchase of goods and services (to date) of 20 March 2010 for a value of more than 500 million dollars, “said Tuesday its chairman, Gabriel Rufyiri.
“We welcome this act of renunciation because this contract was illegally causing the biggest political and financial scandal in the history of Burundi,” he said, recalling that the contract was “a colossal sum that exceeds the state revenue in 2010.”

“The Outcome requires that sanctions be taken against the person who signed this contract,” insisted Mr. Rufyiri.

The secretary general and spokesman of the government, Philippe Nzobonariba, declined comment Tuesday, telling AFP that the case concerns the security and weren’t discussed by the Council of Ministers.

The contract was signed by the Minister for Planning then in office, Tabu Abdallah Manirakiza, now senior advisor to the Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza in charge of economic issues.

The controversial contract had reported Dec. 24 that contract for the supply of several communication systems for the presidency, the provinces, the army and the Bujumbura airport.

Rufyiri says, this contract has been concluded in violation of the law on public procurement.
According to diplomatic sources in Bujumbura, “the contract was canceled because of pressure from the international community and especially the IMF, which have blocked millions of dollars in aid budget.”

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