By Brian Okoth and the BBC
Burundi’s Late President Pierre Nkurunziza — who ruled for nearly 15 years — will be buried on Friday (June 26) in the capital, Gitega, marking the end of implementation of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s June 12 order, which stated that Kenya’s flag be flown at half-mast until the day the Late Nkurunziza is buried.
On June 12, 2020, President Kenyatta gave the instructions, saying by flying the country’s flag at half-staff, Kenya would be honouring the life of Nkurunziza.
“That in memory of the Late President Pierre Nkurunziza, and in solemn solidarity and mourning; the Flag of the East African Community and the Flag of the Republic of Kenya shall be flown at half-mast at all Public Buildings and Public Grounds and wherever else throughout the entire territory of the Republic of Kenya and at all of Kenya’s Diplomatic Missions abroad; from dawn on Saturday, 13th June, 2020 until sunset on the day of his interment,” ordered the Head of State in his Presidential proclamation.
The Burundi Government on June 8 said Nkurunziza died of a “cardiac arrest” almost two weeks ago.
He was expected to officially hand over power to his successor Evariste Ndayishimiye who won the elections held in May.
Nkurunziza was due to be named the “supreme guide to patriotism”.
Burundi’s government has urged the public to line the streets in a show of respect as the hearse carrying the late leader travels from Karusi hospital where he died, to Gitega stadium, for the last honours.
Nkurunziza, who some accused of overseeing “a brutal regime”, spent most of his last years in office preaching more than he engaged in politics.
On several occasions, he would repeat that “God was given the first place in Burundi”, but would also remind what he called “enemies of Burundi” of God’s “iron fist”.
In the last five years, President Nkurunziza boasted in his speeches of having boosted the economy, started seven hydroelectric dam projects, built hospitals, schools and launched a youth bank.