Monday, 20 August 2012

Burundians boycott beer over high prices

 President Nkurunziza

At least 477 Burundian civil society organizations and labor union confederations that have been engaged in a campaign against the high cost of living have called on people to boycott drinks brewed by the Burundi Brewery Company (BRARUDI) on Monday and Tuesday, their spokesman told Xinhua on Sunday. 

"We have invited people living in Burundi to stay away from pubs and not to drink beer or soft drinks brewed by BRARUDI today  (Monday) and (Tuesday) in their homes because we want to urge the Burundian government to reduce prices of BRARUDI drinks," said Noel Nkurunziza, spokesman of the organizations and chairman of the Burundi Consumers' Association (ABUCO). "We have also requested pub owners not to open their pubs during the two days," he said.

People who have social events requiring sharing drinks scheduled during the two days of boycott have been requested to reschedule them."This is a warning to show people living in Burundi that prices of essential food commodities will keep rocketing if we don't urge the government to reduce them," said Noel Nkurunziza.He said the recent increase of BRARUDI drinks has impacted on prices of other essential food commodities whose prices also increased. On July 26, 2012, the Burundi Brewery Company (BRARUDI) increased prices of beer and soft drinks by up to 4.4 percent."The increase of prices of BRARUDI drinks has annulled the decision of the Burundian president lifting taxes on food products and this is materialized by prices of food products which have again rocketed," said Nkurunziza. On May 1, 2012, Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza lifted taxes of food items imported from the East African Community (EAC) states. 
Meanwhile the Tanzanian President, Jakaya Kikwete has abandoned a possible war between his country and the neighboring Malawi over the Niassa lake borders even as the Malawian government maintains the controversial lake belongs to her state.

Kikwete declined he is preparing himself to go to war against Malawi over the Niassa lake and said the war allegations were issued by the opposition leaders of his country, the state radio said. "I am the commander of the army. I did not instruct my army to go to war, therefore if it did not come from me it's not true," Kikwete said in a private meeting with his Malawian counterpart, Joyce Banda in Maputo.Both countries do not have a historic past with war involvement. Tanzania was only involved once in a war with the neighboring Uganda, while Malawi was never involved in any war yet.

The Malawian authorities maintain that lake Niassa, also known as Lake Malawi, is totally owned by Malawi adding that the border position is based on a British-Germany treaty of 1890 which was accepted by Tanzania's former leaders Julius Nyerere and Benjamin Mkapa.The conflict arose when Malawi granted concessions to a British company to research and prospect hydrocarbons.  (Xinhua)

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