Burundi remembers ex-president Pierre Nkurunziza

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Burundi on Tuesday held an event in Gitega, its political capital to remember its former leader Pierre Nkurunziza whose sudden death last June forced the country into a quick transition.

Reigning President Evariste Ndayishimiye said Nkurunziza was a patriot.

His widow, Denise, also spoke at the ceremony attended by high-profile delegations from Tanzania and Uganda.

“His Excellency Pierre Nkurunziza was a courageous person. He loved to work and inspire others, and he understood that whoever wants to succeed must work hard. He was the model of a good worker who starts work very early and saves time to go and inspire others at work,” said Ndayishimye whose bid for the presidency was endorsed by Nkurunziza.

Burundi’s ruling party, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy – Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD), was founded by Nkurunziza.

Nkurunziza was in power for 15 years, having ruled from 2005. But his controversial bid for a third term in 2015 plunged the central African country into a political and security crisis it is still recovering from.

President Ndayishimiye declared June 8 a day to commemorate Nkurunziza and the National Day for Patriotism to be held every year.