Unfolding crisis in Burundi is an extraordinary problem that begs for an extraordinary means to reach the solution. Slowly Burundi is cascading into her violent past after having a ten-year reprieve. Again, shall any Armageddon happen, the outgoing president Pierre Nkurunziza will be held accountable.
All heavens broke loose when Nkurunziza wanted to go against the constitution, running for the third term contrary to the very constitution he appended his signature to protect. Now that Nkurunziza has purposely decided to trample on the constitution to even being ready to see the country going to the dogs so that he can cling to power, the East African Community needs to reign in. again, when we consider what has been going on vis-a-vis power hunger and greed, does the EAC have what it takes to take on Nkurunziza while what he is not attempting is not new in the community? Apart from Kenya and Tanzania, who is clean enough to tell Nkurunziza to stop his power play? Is it possible for the EAC as a bloc to take on Nkurunziza or some individual countries with sanity should do so on its behalf? Again, if we look at policy differentials whereby the EAC is divided between CoW and TABU or Tanzania and Burundi, no country has any moral authority to reign in. At least Kenya has more sanity and cleanliness compared to the rest. Again, looking at the quandary Kenya is in in Somalia, no way Kenya can add another bone to her plate. Tanzania comes second however it is a close associate of Burundi. Given that Kenya is already over-busied in Somalia, Tanzania needs to put her individual interests aside and take on Nkurunziza knowing that if she looks at personal attachment, shall things go overboard, everything will be sadden history. Tanzania is the only player that can save EAC's face. Firstly, it has the most influential and the strongest and most experienced army in the region apart from being the big brother of the region. Secondly, Tanzania bears the brunt when refugees start thronging on the borders. When it comes to other members namely Rwanda and Uganda, their heads have already committed the same sin Nkurunziza is attempting.
We need to tell Nkurunziza that Burundi is more than an individual. What he is attempting failed in Malawi, Senegal and Zambia among many. If he thinks he loves the country he portends he want to serve, he’d abandon his project. What is seen in Bujumbura streets suffices to convince any sane person that the third term is but a button that will signal Burundi to the Armageddon. If Nkurunziza’s aim is truly to serve Burundi but not to serve his hidden agendas, he has all he needs to abandon his shot to the third term. Burundi is more important than Nkurunziza. Underscoring this means that Nkurunziza will put the nation before anything including his love to serve. If those he wants to serve have declined, why’d he force? Forcing will be construed as having person interested wrapped in serving the country.
Looking at a very complicate and violent history of Burundi, whoever who loves this tiny country, will be ready to sacrifice anything in order to avert her from harm’s way.
However, Nkurunziza has the point in that his first term in office resulted from being voted for by parliament but not all Burundians. Again, Burundi constitution is clear about this. It says that the president must be voted for and must serve more than two terms. According to the Reuters, over 25,000 Burundians have already fled the country after demonstrations against Nkurunziza’s third term started. Reuters quoted one western diplomat saying, "We have already warned the authorities that they would be responsible for any impact of the decision on security in the electoral process."
All those are but writings on the wall for whoever loves Burundi to call it quits as far as the third term is concerned. If anybody puts the nation before his personal interest (s), what is going on in Burundi suffices to convince him to think twice. No ruler can rule a chaotic country. Nkurunziza needs to be helped out of this impasse. Who knows? Things can go out of control so as to guarantee Nkurunziza destination to be The Hague. He orders army to take control of the situation. He can’t foresee what the minds of those he orders are. One bullet can cause a fatality that can trigger chaos. Shall this happen, Nkurunziza will be answerable.
So, too, underscoring economic dependence Burundi has always faced, one’d think that Nkurunziza would, so, too, consider it. Burundi is one of the poorest countries on earth. Give her a break. What transpired in 1972 and 1993 suffices to move any sane and patriotic soul to put whatever hidden or in store for him to the stop for the love of his nation. Africa, especially, the EAC needs to be strong on Nkurunziza underscoring the mess his move will add on the already deeply felt mess of tampering with the constitutions.
Nkurunziza, Burundi is more than presidency. Please abandon your third- term project for the love of Burundi. What a wonderful legacy!