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Parliament mourns Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza

FILE PHOTO: The late Pierre Nkurunziza

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Parliament on Thursday observed a moment of silence in honor of Pierre Nkurunziza, the President of Burundi who died on Tuesday this week.

This was before the presentation of the Shillings 45.5 trillion 2020/2021 financial year budget speech by Finance Minister Matia Kasaija.

In her communication to Members of Parliament, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga remembered the late Nkurunziza for having been a guest speaker at Uganda’s 8th National prayer breakfast on 8th October 2006 at the Sheraton Hotel where he prophesied about his presidency and his life struggles.

She condoled with the people of Burundi and the Summit of the Heads of State in the East African Community (EAC).

Nkurunziza’s death was announced through his twitter account on Tuesday. He was due to step down as the president in August after last month’s elections that saw his ruling party, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy candidate Evariste Ndayishimiye triumph.

According to available information, Nkuruzinza, 55, was full of life on Saturday. He actually watched his favourite game of football at a local stadium in the capital Bujumbura. But later in the evening, he was rushed to hospital after he was taken ill.

On Sunday, he became better again. But the following day, Monday his situation deteriorated and was taken in the intensive care unit after he suffered a cardiac arrest. He was pronounced dead on Tuesday.

However, social media in Burundi is abuzz with stories that the President could have succumbed to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

According to the Burundian constitution, the speaker of parliament will take over as president up to August when Ndayishimiye assumes the presidency. Flags around Burundi are flying at half-mast during the seven days as the country mourns the passing of the president.

Besides Nkurunziza, Parliament also honored Ambassador Christopher Onyanga Aparr, Uganda’s Head of Mission and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other international organizations, who died yesterday. The legislators equally paid respect to Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Kasirye Gwanga who also died on Tuesday.

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