Tanzania: TZ Out to Uphold Ties With Burundi

Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan has assured the newly sworn in Burundi President Evariste Ndayimishiye of Tanzania's commitment to cooperate with Burundians in various areas of development.

The Vice President expressed the country's commitment on Thursday in the message she delivered to Burundian people during the swearing in ceremony of new President Ndayishimiye.

Ms Hassan, who was accompanied by former President Jakaya Kikwete, led Tanzania's delegation to Burundi during the swearing in ceremony, representing President John Magufuli who is now tied up by election-related commitments and other national duties. The event was held at Igoma Stadium in Nitega town.

On behalf of President Magufuli, Vice President Hassan congratulated President Ndayimishiye for the victory he clinched during the presidential election, stressing that Tanzania will continue cooperating with Burundians in various economic endeavours.

She once again delivered the condolence message to Burundians over the death of their leader, Pierre Nkurunziza, asking them to maintain harmony and exercise patience during this mourning period.

While in Bujumbura, Ms Hassan visited Nkurunziza's widow, Ms Denise Bucumi Nkurunziza and consoled her.

On his part, former President Kikwete congratulated the people of Burundi for conducting peaceful elections, urging them to put all their strength into building their nation.

"The president congratulates the people of Burundi on running your elections in peace and harmony although some people thought things would go wrong," Mr Kikwete said.

"The peaceful transfer of power shows how much Burundi has politically changed for the better; this shows political maturity. For those of us who have been with you during that difficult period of civil war, through peace negotiations in Arusha and in Dar es Salaam, we are so happy that peace was gained and peace has prevailed till today," he added.

He told Burundians packed at Igoma Stadium in Nitega town that: "The election is over; what lies ahead of you is now to build your country. The President has delivered a wonderful speech, a very optimistic and promising one for the people of Burundi. Well, I wish you all the best."

Apart from the greetings and congratulations offered by Kikwete on behalf of President John Magufuli, he also offered his personal condolences over Mr Nkurunzinza's death.

"We offer our deepest condolence for the sudden death of your beloved President Pierre Nkurunzinza. It is the most painful time for the country. All we can say is that we are together with you in these difficult times," he said.

Newly sworn in President Ndayishimiye pledged to devote all his strength to defend the interests of the nation by ensuring unity and cohesion of the Burundian people, peace and social justice.

Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Dr Damas Ndumbaro, was also in the delegation which returned home on Thursday night.

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