President Yoweri Museveni this morning once again extended condolences to the People of Burundi following the death of their president Pierre Nkurunziza.
Nkurunziza, who had led the country for 15 years, died suddenly on June 8th, with just two months left on his final term in office.
President Yoweri Museveni, flanked by his wife Janet today visited the Burundian embassy in Kampala where he condoled “with the people of Burundi and the family of His Excellency Pierre Nkuruzinza”
“We have come here to express our condolences to the people of Burundi and to the family of the late President Pierre Nkurunziza,” President Museveni wrote in the condolence book.
Mr. Museveni said that he remembers when the late President listened to their advice of coming out of the bush, a process that gave Burundi peace when he Nkurunziza indeed came out of the bush and negotiated peace with then President Buyoya.
“I remember him very well when he listened to our advice to come from the bush with Rajab. We met them in Dar es Salaam. They came from the bush and negotiated with his Excellency Buyoya. That’s how we got the Arusha accord that gave Burundi peace for 15 years. We salute his contribution to Burundi and East Africa. It is a sad loss because he was a young person. We just came to say pole,”.
He saluted the late Nkurunziza for his contribution to Burundi in particular and East Africa in general.
The First Lady Jane Museveni thanked God for the life and service to the people and country of Burundi by their former President Nkurunziza.
“I come to give our condolences to the the former First Lady, Mrs. Nkurunziza and her whole family in this very difficult time. Please know we pray for you,” she wrote.
The Burundian Ambassador to Uganda H.E Epiphanie Kabushemeye-Ntamwana, thanked the President and First Lady for making time out of their busy schedules to condole with them.
“It’s our honour to receive you at our embassy to offer condolences to our former President Pierre Nkurunziza” Ambassador Epiphanie said, adding, that the late President Nkurunziza was one of the greatest leaders Burundi has ever had.
The Ambassador said that as a country, they learnt many important lessons from the late Nkurunziza’s under his reign as President, during which Burundi has achieved a lot in sectors of Education, Health, Social-Economic transformation among others.
President Museveni was directly involved in the process of pacifying Burundi which slid into chaos when Nkurunziza sought his third term in office in 2015.
Museveni was appointed by the African Union to lead the peace talks.
In May that year, Nkurunziza narrowly survived a coup detat that was planned by General Godefroid Niyombareh.
In the months that followed, amid continued bloodshed as Nkurunziza clamped down on his political opponents, President Yoweri Museveni was appointed by the African Union to mediate the Burundi crisis
It should be remembered that Museveni also participated in the 1998 Arusha Peace Talks that saw rival Burundi rebel movements agree to lay down weapons to rebuild their country after years of bloodshed.
In his role as mediator, Museveni consistently reminded the Burundian leadership of how their incessant fighting was damaging their economy which is the base of the country’s development.
On 7 June 2018, President Nkurunziza announced that he would not seek another term when his current term ends this year.
After 15 years in power, Mr Nkurunziza was due to step down in August this year after the May general election that saw H.E Evarisite Ndayishimiye elected President of Burundi.
The fallen Burundian leader is expected to be laid to rest on Friday this week. He is survived by a wife, Denise Bucumi Nkurunziza and five children.