6 June 2017

Burundi: 'President Nkurunziza Will Rule Till Second Coming of Jesus', Chanted Demonstrators

A demonstration march was organized in Bujumbura town on 3 June to support the outcomes of 18th EAC Summit held on20th May in Dar-Es-Salaam in Tanzania. The opposition says there is a reason behind the organization of the march.

Apart from the objective of the demonstration, different slogans were used and chanted. Sitting down before the former radio station "Bonesha Fm", Jackson Tuyisabe, one of the supervisors of that demonstration, took the floor and started saying. "Two years ago, a group of criminals broke into the radio station and sang the Burundi National Anthem and said they overturned the government", Tuyisabe said before a short pause. "And I say in the name of God that President Nkurunziza will rule till the second coming of Jesus", he also said.

Different reactions have been observed here and there due to these slogans. People wonder whether or not the current President of Burundi really wants to rule forever as said during Saturday's march.

Jean Claude Karerwa Ndenzako, Spokesman for the President, says it is only people's wish that President Nkurunziza rule forever. According to him, those slogans were used in that way because there is freedom of expression in Burundi. "As it is not the Head of State who organized that demonstration, participants in the demonstration should be held accountable for what they chanted", he says.

Tatien Sibomana, from Uprona opposition party, says those who used the slogans did it carelessly without being aware of what they were saying. "By organizing such demonstrations, they show that Nkurunziza continues to violate the Arusha Peace Agreement and Constitution", Sibomana says. These slogans have no sense because the current President has to step down. "Nkurunziza will not rule forever as they wished because in the end his people themselves will force him to leave", he adds.

"Confusion between a political party and a person"

For Jean de Dieu Mutabazi, Head of RADEBU, it is their dreams to see Nkurunziza forever as a Head of State. "They confuse a political party and a person. It is not President Nkurunziza who will remain in power but rather his party. This is due to the fact that in Burundi, to be a President one has to compete with others in elections and according to the constitution", he says.

Issa Désiré Mazimpaka, Administrator of Mukaza commune who spoke on behalf of other Administrators of the three communes of Bujumbura city, said they wanted to thank the Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, John Pombe Magufuli, the Tanzanian President and the Deputy President of Kenya who were present at the summit. They opposed the European Union's decision to impose sanctions on Burundi.

The current Burundi crisis has started since April 2015, when the ruling party CNDD FDD presented Pierre Nkurunziza as its candidate in the presidential election, what forced thousands of Burundians to flee their country fearing for their security. Human rights activists say more than 2,000 people were killed and more than 8,000 detained since the outbreak of the crisis.


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