Officials in Burkina Faso will no longer be able to accept gifts above 60 dollars, that is gifts worth more than 35,000 CFA francs. The government just announced this yesterday in yet another move to curb the corruption that is seemingly rife in the nation especially among public officials.
Justice Minister Rene Bagoro told reporters while outlining the terms of the order which was made by the cabinet on Wednesday;
“If an agent receives a present, a gift and other perks worth more than 35,000 CFA francs, it falls under the law.”
By that he referenced an anti-corruption law already adopted in 2015 which provides for a 20 year jail sentence for anyone charged with economic crimes.
Under another new “appearance” decree, public officials are required to account for any apparently inexplicable increase in their standard of living. Bagoro said again; “If you appear to have more than five percent more than what you should own, you fall foul of the law.” The decrees were made under the anti-corruption law passed by the National Transitional Council set up after the fall of president Blaise Compaore who fled the country after a popular uprising in 2014.
The anti-corruption law criminalizes so-called appearance offences and prohibits gifts for public officials in a country where high-ranking government employees often receive donations and gifts. The new pronouncement will obviously encounter a lot of acceptance from the citizens of the country.
Banning Gifts Above 60 Dollars Is In Line With Africa’s Fight Against Corruption
Quite a number of African countries seem to be buckling down on corruption. Countries like Tanzania and even Nigeria who have Presidents that have made the fight against corruption a foremost agenda are possible examples. Tanzania’s John Magufuli especially can be applauded on that regard, even gaining himself the nickname of ‘the bulldozer’ for his efforts so far.
What is left is to watch to see if the government of Burkina Faso will be strict in it’s enforcement of this new law, even as the Justice Minister has made the pronouncements.