Handover between CNTB chairman and Minister of Justice

The Minister of Justice Domine Bankanyimbona and the President of the National Commission for Land and Other Assets (CNTB) Félicien Nduwuburundi proceeded on Thursday 21 April 2022 to the handing over of the files following the end of the mandate of the CNTB. On this occasion, a guided tour of the offices and archives of the CNTB was made by these two authorities in the company of the Mayor of the city of Bujumbura Jimmy Hatungimana, the Attorney General of the Republic Sylvestre Nyandwi, the President of the Supreme Court Emmanuel Gateretse as well as other executives of the two institutions. 

During the handover and resumption ceremonies, CNTB president Félicien Nduwuburundi recalled that the CNTB was set up in 2006 to deal with land and other property disputes arising from the various crises that Burundi has experienced. He indicated that the CNTB has gone through different mandates and that today, it has reached its end on 12 March 2022. He pointed out that at the beginning the CNTB received 65982 litigious files. So far, in the provinces, the CNTB has been able to process 48087 files and today, 17895 files remain to be processed.

Of these 48087 litigation files, only 7008 have been transferred to the CNTB’s appeals sub-commission and the rest have been definitively closed. Of these 7008 files, only less than 1000 were transferred to the special court of the CNTB.

Even if the CNTB worked well, Félicien Nduwuburundi reported 21718 files that were not closed, 17895 in the provinces and 3823 at the CNTB court.  Following these files that could not be closed, he asked the president of the Republic to extend the mandate of the CNTB because, he said, if these files are handed over to another jurisdiction, it will take a long time to work on them. He added that there are other trials that are almost completed that will have to be reviewed. If the commission is not renewed, he asked the State to pay the end-of-career indemnities to all the staff as adopted by the Council of Ministers and to pay the watchmen who have remained to watch over the files until now.

The Minister of Justice appreciated the work done by the CNTB since its creation. For her, many people have been restored to their rights. She recalled that in order to be able to function, commissions were set up in all the provinces and have done a good job of resolving problems relating to land and other property arising from the various crises that the country has experienced. As the government has seen that the work entrusted to the CNTB is significantly advanced, it has decided to terminate the work of the Commission.

She informed that the unfinished cases will be transferred to the Ministry of Justice. The cases that have already been registered and not decided will be directed to the Special Court in charge of dealing with land and other property disputes belonging to the Ministry of Justice. For those who had not yet referred to the CNTB but who have land disputes related to the various crises the country has experienced, they will refer to the various courts. 

Domine Bankanyimbona mentioned that on Monday 18 April 2022, the CNTB commissions in the provinces handed over the files to the courts of their jurisdiction. 

On behalf of her ministry, she pledged to continue this work.  She appealed to the population to refer the cases to the courts that will take over from the CNTB. She thanked the CNTB for having taken care of the working equipment entrusted to it and informed that it will be transferred to the courts that will take over. For the staff of the CNTB, she asked them to keep hope that tomorrow there can be better.

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