Burkina bans officials from receiving gifts worth over $60

Burkina Faso bans public officials from receiving presents worth more than $60 to help fight corruption

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

A Burkina Faso flag hangs from the dashboard of a commercial truck outside Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, September 24, 2012.

Burkina Faso officials are no longer allowed to accept gifts worth more than 35,000 CFA francs (53 euros, $60), the government announced on Thursday in another move to counter rife corruption and cronyism.

"If an agent receives a present, a gift and other perks worth more than 35,000 CFA francs, it falls under the law," Justice Minister Rene Bagoro told reporters, outlining the terms of an order made by the cabinet on Wednesday.

An anti-corruption law adopted in 2015 already provides for up to 20 years in jail for economic crimes.

Under another new "appearance" decree, public officials are required to account for any apparently inexplicable increase in their standard of living.

"If you appear to have more than five percent more than what you should own, you fall foul of the law," Bagoro said.

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 criminalises so-called appearance offences and prohibits gifts for public officials in a country where high-ranking government employees often receive donations and gifts.

The head of state, ministers or senior officials usually receive donations, such as cattle and valuable traditional clothes, during their tours of the country.

People often offer gifts and donations to public officials to encourage them to advance their issues.

The law also requires the head of state, members of the government, members of parliament, mayors, the military high command and senior officials to make a declaration of their property within 30 days of entering and leaving office.

President Roch Marc Christian Kabore, who was elected in November 2015, has made the fight against corruption a priority.