Burundi pensioners are at risk of having their case thrown out of court because they have submitted to court more times than legally required.
Court had on September 15th summoned the Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) to appear in court today.
The RSSB input in the proceedings is vital.
Some of the pensioners refused to collect their pension which was channelled through RSSB.
They told court that what RSSB was providing them was not corresponding with the amount sent by Burundi government.
However, RSSB defense team led by Serge Kamonyo argued that this case holds no substance because it was filed after several complaints to the biggest offices in the country including the president’s office and both chambers of parliaments and other platforms.
Kamonyo also argued that there are some pensioners who had started pension negotiations with Rwanda on their return and were paid while others returned before legal entry into this category.
The RSSB team also said the time of submitting the current lawsuit is beyond the legal six months from the time of the last complaint written to the president.
“It faults the legal number of times required for the High Court to validate the lawsuit,”RSSB legal team argued.
The defense lawyers also requested court to provide evidence that the claimants were indeed civil servants, workers or subcontractors.
“This helps us to understand the case and the paperwork is general and put all of them in one basket, Compensation conversion of the amount as calculated by the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries instead of going with a flat price for all,” defence lawyers said.
Government position in this case is that only pension money sent to Rwanda by Burundi will be paid.
However, Valence Kamali Nyampatse the claimants lawyer argued that this is all a waste of time for his clients who are of advanced age as long as this case is delayed.
Nyampatse said that basing on article 336 of court proceeding, his clients submitted the lawsuit in November 28th, 2016, after failing to get a response from government to overturn a cabinet resolution on the payment of the Burundi pensioners.
“We are asking court to uphold the decision of the cabinet – we don’t need evidence because the evidence is there. All details of who was and was not working by time of the resolution is already solved,” Nyampatse said.
The presiding judge said that both sides have an argument which create a conflict on whether the case proceeds of not- this sent most pensioners into a chilly mood.
Court adjourned the proceedings saying the ruling on this dissatisfaction on both sides will be decided on October 19th to give validity of the lawsuit or else drop it and if the case is found valid, the two sides will battle it out on October 26th.