Testimony of beneficiaries after mixed dialogue sessions held in mutaho , Gitega province


January,   23-24 /2017 CEDAC has organized a mixed dialogue session in Mutaho commune, Gitega province as part of the monitoring and evaluation of the sustainability of the BUMBATIRA-AMAHORO project. This session saw the participation of all beneficiaries of Mutaho commune and was particularly focused on: The peaceful resolution of the conflict, the AVBs and Political tolerance. Many testimonies were heard by different beneficiaries :

 

 

 1. “ My name is Bizimana Simeon, thirty-three years old. I am president of the youth league imbonerakure

 in Mutaho commune. The day I was invited to the exchange meetings on improving social cohesion

 with members of the opponents, I doubted before I decided to participate. I considered it a waste of time.

 I did not think these dialogue sessions could give anything positive. In fact, under my eyes and convictions,

 the youth opponents  were radical, for me, the only solution to live with them was  the balance of power.

 So for me, masturbating any person who revolted seemed to be a good solution that had to

 be applied to the youth of  opposition political party  in the Mutaho commune. Since it was insisted

 that I should participate in the sessions, I was forced to participate because it was specified that

if I do not participate, the place will remain empty. With the progress of these sessions,

 I felt in me that there are things that change.  Members of the opposition gave their points

of view, through the discussion I discovered that they were too concerned about good cohabitation

and  development of the commune and, more importantly, I discovered that they  were too good

people with who I could make friend. unfortunately, stereotypes made me believing that all opponents

 are our enemy.  After the sessions, I was elected and I am the chairman of the steering committee.

Really, what happened, I would say that they are miracles, it seems that the sessions were like a

 key that we had missed for a good collaboration with the members of the opposition political parties. "

 

2.  My name is Sylvestre 42 years old, a refugee living in the Mutaho camp. In all election periods,

 we live in extreme fear. For example, since the starting of demonstration  against the third term

of President Nkurunziza, the Tutsi have always been pointed out that it is they who want to dismiss

 the president of the republic. It was the same for the case of us in this camp because we have

suffered from intimidation, terrifying words such as "Mujeri tuzozimesa"  abakeba", ibipinga, and so of .

 We were fear for a probable attack in our  camp. Rumors have also spread for the same subject. 

 The dialogue session  held between the refugees living in this displaced of  Mutaho sites and

people living on hills of origin of the refugees (those who have not fled) helped both of two parties

 to express their ideas. Refugees explained how much they are worried for their security. The two parts

agreed to help each other to feel safe and work together for the social cohesion improvement. Within

 this dialogue session, the degree of departure of young people in exile decreased. We are really proud

 of CEDAC’s intervention.

 

 

3. My name is Vianney Niyonkuru: 30 years old, Gahwazi hill, Ngozi commune.

 I am a member of the IMBONERAKURE youth league, beneficiary of the BUMBATIRAMAHORO project .

Before being beneficiary of this project, I participated in activities called Gukizura.

 These activities of Gukizura made members  doing security activities. All suspected

people especially opponent were highly under overseeing. Thus, during these activities,

 I was really violent because I threatened many opponents  not only by insults but also by sticks.

 In fact, according to my convictions before joining this project, I saw that someone who is a partisan

of a party that is not going to win the elections is a kind of wasting time. So, as was often said,

anyone who does not support the CNDD-FDD is a potential enemy of the party. Just after

 I joined this project, I 'm no longer participating  in these activities, I changed my character.

 I was really violent, but today everyone is surprised by my character and I would emphasize

 that I have  understood that when I was still too young, the political party in which I'm militating

 today was not yet born to mean that political parties born, grow and grow old. Thanks to the training

 I have followed in this project, I have succeeded  in changing my character, my way of doing things.

 I do not know if my colleagues that we often shared the activities of GUKIZURA will have

 the opportunity to have these notions so that they can change their behavior .

 The fact that we mostly dismiss the youth of the opposition parties as we most

 often call them "Bakeba" and that collaborating with them is kind of endangering

our life because "they can even give us poison" I liked often saying  it and my colleagues.

This hypothesis is not correct because I have just spent 3 months with youth  members 

of  opponents political parties and we live in total harmony. It is true the situation is not 100% perfect,

 but I affirm that with the project, things will change as the rate of individual appropriation of the themes

of the project and its objectives is being increased.

 

4. "My name is BIGIRIMANA Célestin, I am a member of the MSD political party ten years ago, 

there is even the permanence of the party at home. Since the MSD political party has established

 permanent presence at home, we have suffered all kinds of evils from the ruling party's youth,

 such as intimidation, destabilization , jail,... etc. we have a cabaret, where we are actually selling beer.

 There have been  a time when I saw a member of the ruling party come to take beer in our bar,

 I closed automatically. I saw  in every member of the ruling party wickedness, evil deeds .

 Since I became a member of the MSD, I did no longer interact  with members of the ruling party.

It was with the trainings that I had in this project opportunities to be together with youth members

of the ruling party  that I renewed contacts suspended for ten years. Today we even share beer.

This is to say that this project helps us to solidify the ties and relations, briefly to the solidification

of social cohesion

 

5.   "My name is Nzeyimana Pascal from the hill Gerangabo in Mutaho commune.

 Since I have been involved in this project, I have changed my character. Before,

 I did not want to interact with people from other political parties except CNDD-FDD.

 I no longer wanted to make an effort to understand the ideas of others. But today,

 it's me who helps others when there is hooking. Before I was a beneficiary of the project,    

  I was really a virulent Imbonerakure. Today that I have learned political tolerance,     

  I help my brothers to avoid disputes related to the divergence of political opinion»

 

6. « My name is Manirakiza Desiré ex-combatant and member of the peace committee and mediation.

 I am also a chief of hill in Giheta commune. Thanks to the training I had in the Peace and Mediation

 Committee I have the ability to manage the affairs of the hill. If there are tensions to threaten a group,

If there are conflicts between young people, facilitating reconciliation is easy for me.

 I use the achievements of the project to bring things back to normal. »

 

7.  « My name is MFASHUBURUNDI Jerome, 29 years old. When we were trained on this approach,

 I did not think it was useful in life as I see it today. Before I started taking part in this approach,

 I did not know how to save. Also, I was afraid of creating an income-generating activity.

 But two months after the beginning of this approach, I followed the testimonies

 of other colleagues who had started small business and their activities were progressing.

 In the third month, I contracted a debt of 25 0000 BIF to initiate the small business of lawyers .

At first I only provided two restaurants and a diet of Kiremba. I have increased my capital still through

 the SILC and today I use a capital of 150 000 BIF. I really do not regret joining the group because,

 if God protects me against diseases and other accidents, I plan to buy a land 

 in Masanganzira, Kiremba commune  where I will build a point of selling different articles.

 Now I see that I no longer need to go furrowing behind a political authority to have food 

 for  my family. I thank deeply  initiators of this project and especially God who inspired them

to choose our commune. I would add that many of the people living in Kiremba commune

are suffering because of ignorance. We hear that in the country there are many organizations

 but we are surprised to find that it is for the first time this approach is known by kiremba people.

 Can this project be extended  on other hills of our commune to save Burundians from the poverty ?"

 

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