Burundi president sacks commerce minister amid graft claims

24
Nairobi

Burundi’s President Evariste Ndayishimiye has sacked his commerce minister because she risked “compromising the country’s economy,” as sources in the ruling regime alleged she had embezzled airline funds.

“Considering the acts of the person concerned risk compromising the country’s economy and the image of Burundi… the honourable Immaculee Ndabaneze is dismissed from her functions as minister of commerce, transport, industry and tourism,” the presidency said in a statement posted Saturday on the state house’s official Twitter account.The statement did not provide further details.

But according to corroborating sources within the ruling regime, the minister was dismissed for the illegal sale of the last plane of the now defunct Air Burundi and for allegedly embezzling funds intended to go towards the country’s future flagship carrier Burundi Airlines.

The plane, a Beechcraft 1900, had not flown in more than a decade and was sold to a South African businessman without governmental approval, the sources said.—AFP

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