Gabriel Rufyiri: "Corruption is the enemy of development"

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Many Burundians continue returning to the country. Among these returnees are leading figures of civil society, such as Gabriel Rufyiri, president of the organisation for the fight against corruption and economic malpractice (Olucome). A decision, he says, was not easy.

"It was really the will that I had for a long time despite all the risks that I can run. But it wasn't easy", admitted Gabriel Rufyiri, president of Olucome.

After seven years in exile, he is not afraid of the risks. Gabriel hopes the state will look after his safety.

"The state must ensure my safety. You know there are many members of Olucome who have been murdered because of their work, so it is the state's duty to protect all citizens, including myself", he said.

Gabriel Rufyiri is well known in the anti-corruption fight, and he remains committed to it.

"I am ready to continue my work in defending citizens' rights, especially in the search for governance", promised Rufyiri.

At a time when many cases of embezzlement are making the headlines and are denounced by President Ndayishimiye, the anti-corruption activist believes that there is still work to be done.

"Corruption is at an unacceptable level where everyone is called to fight this evil which is the enemy of the economy, the enemy of development, the enemy of democracy. It is the enemy of everyone except the corrupt", denounced the president of Olucome.

According to the NGO Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index (CPI) ranking, Burundi ranks 104th out of 115 countries with a score of 81% in 2021.

Gabriel Rufyiri left Burundi in 2015, in the wake of the crisis linked to the contested third term of the late president Pierre Nkurunziza.

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