‘I won’t go’ Burundi Pres in Mugabe appeal

via ‘I won’t go’ Burundi Pres in Mugabe appeal – NewZimbabwe 27/01/2016 by Nkosana Dlamini

BESIEGED Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza has reached out to President Robert Mugabe in attempts to ward off the impending deployment of an African Union peacekeeping force to halt killings on civilians allegedly by his regime.

Nkurunziza has in the recent past come under strong rebuke from the international community for seeking a third term which ignited widespread protests in his country since last year, culminating into total chaos.

The turmoil has since claimed 400 civilians in just a few months and forced nearly 200,000 into exile.

The 52-year-old has past few weeks been resisting attempts by the AU to deploy peacekeepers to protect civilians.

The Burundi leader took time to dispatch his envoy, major general Everiste Ndayishimiye to Harare on Tuesday ostensibly to upraise the outgoing AU chair on the ‘real’ situation in the troubled East African country.

“…We have confidence that they (AU leaders) will know the reality and that they will not consent to send troops in Burundi,” Ndayishimiye later told journalists after emerging from a two-hour closed-door meeting with President Mugabe.

However, opposition PDP secretary general Gorden Moyo felt Mugabe had no moral authority to sit over any discussion aimed at resolving the tense situation in Burundi given his own experiences in his country 2008.

“Mugabe can only tutor Nkurunziza from the syllabus of stayism he knows best,” Moyo said in an interview with NewZimbabwe.com Wednesday.

“He has memorised the curriculum over the past 36 years. He knows no other advice than the one he has lived.”

Back in 2008, President Mugabe suffered a humiliating defeat from archrival Morgan Tsvangirai of MDC-T in the first round of the presidential race.

The defeat incensed his followers into a violent witch-hunt in rural Zimbabwe which claimed over 300 MDC-T supporters, according to the opposition.

Soon after he was sworn in for another term and while preparing for an AU summit in the Egyptian coast city of Sharm el-Sheikh, the soon to be 92-year-old leader dared fellow African leaders to condemn him, insisting all his peers were equally tainted.

Nkurunziza learnt from Mugabe

“Nkurunziza leant what he is doing in Burundi from Mugabe himself,” Moyo said.

“He was here to charge his neo-authoritarian batteries. He was here to drink from his master’s fountain of cruelty.”

Equally, MDC spokesperson Kurauone Chihwayi said despite finding it appropriate to approach a sitting AU chair, Nkurunziza was also lucky to find a president he could easily relate to in terms of brutalizing his own people.

“The visit by the Nkurunziza’s envoy ahead of the crucial summit raises eyebrows of all those sympathising with the people of Burundi,” Chihwayi said.

“The AU should deal with political criminals who abuse their offices to extend their terms.”

The MDC spokesperson said current disturbances in Burundi were “a carbon copy of what transpired in Zimbabwe in 2008 when houses were burnt, limbs chopped and many innocent civilians killed.”

He added: “Mugabe will handle the Burundi issue with dirty hands since Nkurunziza and the Zimbabwean leader are birds of the same feather.”

Harare based political analyst Fambayi Ngirande said the Burundi case, just like Zimbabwe, was yet another endorsement of big man politics.

“The fact that liberal electoral democracy seems incompatible with modern state as it stands today in Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda, it has always been Zimbabwe where term limits have been thrown out of the window to accommodate big man and elites’ interests at the expense of
democratic order.

“I do not see Mugabe as an arbiter siding with the liberal democratic order of term limits.”


  • comment-avatar
    machakachaka 5 years ago

    There is a part in this article that says over 300 MDC supporters were killed in the 2008 election violence. Earlier reports (soon after the 2008 elections) were putting the figure at 200. This is exactly what happened to the Gukurahundi civilian casualty figures. In around 1999 the Gukurahundi figures were firstly put at 3000, then gradually escalated until the now widely reported figure of 20000 lives. I bet the 300 lives ‘lost’ will increase as time goes on. In 15 years time, when our young children are then grown ups, they will be told by the press that the 2008 election violence killed 10000 people. Anyone who will attempt to dispute this will be heckled in public debate platforms, so that the newly cooked figures will stand.

  • comment-avatar
    C Frizell 5 years ago

    Well, wen you have a regime whiistorted truth for decades it is hard to know what is what.

    Is it OK “only” 3,000 people were kiled in gukurahundi? That is thecertified nummber but intelligent estimats put it at around 20,00

    Is it OK that “only” 200 MDC members were murdered? Afer time, is it not possible that more cases come to light?

    Please don’t try and apologise for Mugabe and his murderous thugs. It will not work.

    • comment-avatar

      Well said. It is an absolute certainty that innocent people were murdered on the orders of Mugabe on both occasions. The numbers are irrelevent.