STATE House has deleted President Edgar Lungu’s message of condolences in which he eulogised Burundi’s outgoing President Pierre Nkurunzinza which was posted on the Head of State’s official Facebook page after getting negative feedback.
President Lungu said Nkurunzinza’s demise was a tragedy and that he would be remembered for spearheading infrastructure projects aimed at making water and electricity more accessible to the people of Burundi.
“I am deeply saddened by the deaths of outgoing Burundi President Peirre Nkurunzinza who died on Tuesday following an illness. I learnt of Mr Nkurunzinza’s death with deep sorrow and his demise is shocking because he was unwell for a short period. He was to democratically hand over power to that country’s President-elect General Major Evariste Ndayishiye who emerged victorious following a milestone democratic presidential election held in Burundi recently. The demise of President Peirre Nkurunzinza is a tragedy. I recall that President Nkurunzinza played a significant role in successfully ushering Burundi into the East African Community Economic Bloc in November 2006,” posted President Lungu.
“He will also be remembered for having aided the reformation of the economic community of the Great Lakes Countries, the trade organization that comprised Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda in April 2007. Further, he will be remembered for spearheading infrastructure projects aimed at making water and electricity more accessible to the people of Burundi. On behalf of the government of the Republic of Zambia, the people and indeed my own behalf I wish to convey sincere and deepest condolences to your Excellency to the government of the Republic of Burundi and the bereaved family on the death of outgoing President of the Republic of Burundi Mr Peirre Nkurunzinza. May the Almighty God comfort the bereaved family and the entire nation. As we join the rest of the world in commiserating with the people of Burundi, please accept your Excellency the assurances of my highest consideration.”
But President Lungu’s followers however reacted negatively to the post.
“Too bad it’s a wrong country,” posted Melvin Makumba.
Another follower, Sarafina Nthenga, seemingly ‘admired’ the people of Burundi.
“Utunensu (Our friends),” commented Nthenga.
And Dumiso Mawere hoped that God would answer Zambia’s prayers.
“Some countries are blessed, anyway God will answer our prayers too,” said Mawere.
Chongo Mcdonald said he waited for another African leader, who was a dictator, to die.
“Remember him just as government alone, not including the people, there is nothing good to remember about [a] dictator. Us the people are just waiting on whose next,” wrote Mcdonald.
Another follower, Clement Sikazwe, said the ‘angel’s’ mission had not yet been accomplished.
“Very sad indeed, it’s good that the angel is still roaming in Africa. The mission hasn’t been accomplished yet,” said Sikazwe.
Innocent Kangwa said God was blessing other countries.
“See what God is doing for other countries,” posted Kangwa.
Meanwhile, Keith Moono likened Nkurunzinza to President Lungu for trying to run for a third term
“Nkurunzinza was a dictator who manipulated his country’s constitution to run for a third term just like the way to impose Bill 10 on us,” said Moono.
President Lungu’s handlers were forced to delete the post. This is the second post to be deleted in a space of a week. The first post which was deleted was a video in which the Head of State ordered police to sort out youths who were planning to protests against various governance issues.
Nkurunzinza was President of Burundi since August 2005. He died three weeks after the election of his successor, Évariste Ndayishimiye.