Nkurunziza’s Death Is A Big Blow To East Africa- President Uhuru Kenyatta
President Uhuru Kenyatta has mourned the death of Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza noting that he was an exceptional leader in so many ways. He equally added that his death is a blow to East Africa.
According to a statement by the Burundi government on Tuesday, President Nkurunziza died of heart failure and it came just months before the general election after fifteen turbulent year as the head of a troubled nation. According to President Uhuru Kenyatta, “the death of President Nkurunziza is a big blow. It has robbed East Africa of a leader whose contribution to the integration and progress of the region shall be sorely missed. In his condolence message to the family and friends of the President, Kenyatta said:
“he was an exceptional leader in many ways. He was a man of great courage, he was never afraid to fight for what he believed was right and was always to make peace when the time was right. His perseverance and determination saw him pursue his vision for a peaceful and stable Burundi”
It was reported that Nkurunziza first began to feel unwell after attending a volleyball match on Saturday and appeared to be improving until he took a turn for the worse on Monday and later his heart stopped. He lost his life despite Uhuru’s intense efforts of the medical team who spent several hours trying to revive him.
Among people that sent in their condolences is Raila Odinga, the African Union High Representative for Infrastructure in Africa. According to him, he said and I quote, “I wish the people of Burundi peace, hope, and stability at this moment of mourning following the death of their president. Our thoughts are with the first family. May Burundi’s institutions stand firmly for the country and the people.”
A post on the Burundian government’s official Twitter account early Tuesday evening announced the president Nkurunziza’s death with great sadness. They also said that he died in a hospital in the Eastern city of Karuzi. Many Burundian heard the news through a statement read out on national television and radio. His death came as he was preparing to leave office following the election last month of his hand-picked successor, Evariste Ndayishimiye.
Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta together with Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed were among the first world leaders to express their condolences on Tuesday evening with Kenyatta hailing Nkurunziza’s contribution to the integration and progress of the region. The country remains under the tight control of the ruling CNDD-FDD political party and its notoriously violent youth league which was described as a militia group by the United Nations. In May 2018, Burundi approved in a referendum Constitutional reforms that would allow Nkurunziza to rule the country until 2034 but in a surprise move, President Nkurunziza announced the following month that he has no intention of running for presidency again. His death comes on the heels of the May 20 election that saw Ndayishimiye secure a seven year term as President. This result was confirmed by a constitutional court last Thursday.
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