By Nasser Kasozi Akndwanaho/PPU
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni together with First Lady Janet Kataha Museveni on Tuesday paid their respects to the former Burundian leader, Pierre Nkurunziza at the country’s embassy in Kampala.
On arrival at the embassy in Kololo a Kampala suburb, President Museveni and the First Lady were received by the Burundian Ambassador to Uganda, Epiphanie Kabushemeye-Ntamwana, Uganda’s State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Okello Oryem, and embassy staff.
“We have come here to express our condolences to the people of Burundi and to the family of the late President Pierre Nkurunziza,” Museveni wrote in the condolence book.
Museveni said that he remembers when Nkurunziza listened to their advice of coming out of the bush, a process that gave Burundi peace when the fallen leader indeed came out of the bush and negotiated peace with then-President Pierre 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 Pierre 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,” Museveni said.
First Lady Jane Museveni thanked God for the life and service to the people and country of Burundi by former President Nkurunziza.
“I come to give our condolences to Mrs Nkurunziza and her whole family in this very difficult time. Please know we pray for you,” she wrote.
Ambassador 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” the Ambassador said, adding, that Nkurunziza was one of the greatest leaders Burundi has ever had.
The Ambassador said that as a country, they learnt many important lessons from Nkurunziza during his tenure as president, during which Burundi has achieved a lot in sectors of education, health, social-economic transformation among others.
Nkurunziza passed away died on 8 June, 2020, after suffering cardiac arrest at the age of 55.
After 15 years in power, Nkurunziza was due to step down in August this year after the May general election that saw Evarisite Ndayishimiye elected the next president of Burundi.
He is survived by a wife, Denise Bucumi Nkurunziza and five children.