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No evidence Burkina Faso’s military leader slashed top government officials’ salaries by 30 per cent

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Claim: An X user claims that Burkina Faso’s military leader and Head of State have slashed the salaries of top government officials by 30 per cent.

No evidence Burkina Faso’s military leader slashed top government officials’ salaries by 30 per cent

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Burkina Faso, amongst a few West African countries, has, in the last three years, experienced a fierce military takeover after a failure of its civilian leaders to battle persistent insecurity in the Sahel region. 

Military leader and Burkina Faso’s Head of State, Captain Ibrahim Traore, who ousted former military leader, Paul-Henri Damiba, back on Sept 30, 2022, took over the state affairs after the latter failed to turn around the adverse security crisis in Burkina Faso, amidst scourging food starvation. 

After a year and some months at the helm of affairs, individuals online have asserted that Mr Traore, a low-ranking officer before his dominance as Head of State, has slashed the wages of top government officials by 30%. They also stated he increased civil servants’ wages by 50% and has refused to pay himself a president’s salary.

DUBAWA noticed such a narrative in X user Gideon Kitheka Snr (@Gideon_Kitheka)’s post on Sunday, May 20, 2024. He wrote:

“Captain Traore Ibrahim, President of Burkina Faso, reduces ministers’ and politicians’ salaries by 30 (per cent).” 

“Increases workers’ salaries by 50 (per cent), and refuses to accept a president’s salary and maintains his military captain’s salary.” He wrote further.

This claim was also amplified by another X user, African (@ali_naka).

This was also posted on Meta’s parent application, Facebook, here and here

The initial post on X amassed over 1,000 comments, 5,000 retweets, and 34,000 likes, and was bookmarked 524 times as of Friday, May 24, 2024. 

Expectedly, people only talked about the military leader’s goodwill toward the welfare of the people of Burkina Faso and wished other African leaders would adopt such a measure. But a few believed Mr Traore was only trying to make a political impression.

“I wish all African leaders did this…” Bella (@_Nana_Kc) commented.

“This is what we should adopt.” Samwel Wekesa (@bungomaduke) commented.

“This is just political rhetoric and performative politics.” Mwesigye Aarons (@AaronsMwesigye) pointed out.

Due to the sensitivity of the claim and the traction of its engagement, DUBAWA decided to fact-check it.

Verification

DUBAWA checked the editorials of major news outlets, such as Aujourd’hue au Faso, Burkina24, Faso@CTU, and Infowakat.net, for such reports in the last four weeks. We found out that no news publication reported Mr Traore’s act of reducing the salaries of top government officials, incrementing civil servants’ wages, or withholding a president’s wages for himself.

DUBAWA further reviewed publications related to the Burkina Faso government’s finance policies and administrative decisions made last month.

The Council of Ministers– a weekly government cabinet meeting spearheaded by Mr Traore– discusses issues that concern the State. However, its recent sittings never broached the topic of either increasing or decreasing the wages of public servants. 

Aujourd’hue au faso reports a National Conference scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 25, 2024, and Sunday, May 26, 2024. The weekend conference, which focuses on a transitional return to civilian rule as promised by Mr Traore, aims to discuss several subjects, including the moralisation of administration, good governance, etc. However, no indication was reported to explicitly address the budget and financial status of government employees.

Faso@CTU also reports the policies related to the Ministry of Economy, Finance, and Foresight at the last Council of Ministers meeting. Aside from acknowledging a drop in inflation from 14.1 per cent in 2022 to 0.7 per cent in 2023, the highlight of the finance-related session was the decision to nationalise the Commercial Bank of Burkina Faso. Besides that, nothing else was reviewed.

Finally, still on finance and government budgeting, Infowakat.net reports on Mr Traore’s intention to have a government seminar to meet the needs of the Burkina Faso populace via the management of public resources. To do that, Mr Traore has instructed the Ministers of every government ministry to monitor the number of civil servants employed by the Ministry, about the number of people paid by the Ministry of Economy, Finance, and Foresight. 

However, nothing was said concerning the salaries of government employees, in terms of salary increase or decrease. 

Conclusion

The claim is false. Available and credible news outlets have not reported such a development, and the issue has not been broached at government official meetings.

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