‹‹ “I remember him when he listened to our advice to come out of the bush and negotiated with his Excellency Buyoya. That’s how we got the Arusha Accord that gave Burundi peace for 15 years”
By Steven Turyarugayo
President Yoweri Museveni, First Lady Janet Kataha Museveni and their delegation were received by the Burundian Ambassador to Kampala, Epiphanie Kabushemeye-Ntamwana, State minister of foreign affairs Henry Okello Oryem and embassy staff, according to a release from State House.
"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 he remembers when the deceased president listened to their advice that he comes out of the bush, a process that brought peace to Burundi when he negotiated peace with then President Pierre Buyoya.
"I remember him very well when he listened to our advice to come out of 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," Museveni said.
He saluted the late Nkurunziza for his contribution to Burundi in particular and East Africa in general.
Mrs 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 former First Lady, 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 is our honour to receive you at our embassy to offer condolences to our former President Pierre Nkurunziza. The late president was one of the greatest leaders Burundi has ever had. As a country, we have learnt many important lessons from the late Nkurunziza under his reign as president, during which Burundi has achieved a lot in sectors of education, health and socio-economic transformation among others," Ambassador Kabushemeye-Ntamwana said.
Survived by a wife, Denise Bucumi Nkurunziza and five children, Pierre Nkurunziza, died on June June 8, 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 President of Burundi.