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What Does ‘Father of the Nation’ Mean Under Republican State?

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In simplified and user-friendly terms, the analogy father-of-the-nation is used to refer to a person considered the driving force behind the establishment of a country, state, or nation.

For other and most common situations, father-of-the-nation is the architect of independence – all these are the explanations one may quickly find through google.

In neighbouring Burundi which became a republic after claiming independence on 1 July 1962, there is a very tense debate on whether the President should be confered upon this honorific title of Father-of-the-nation.

In his perspective, Guibert Mbonimpa, the Editorial secretary and political analyst at Groupe de Presse Iwacu, argues that in his country Burundi, the title of Father-of-the-nation is only reserved for the King and not the President who presides over a Republic state.

Referring to his article titled; “Father of the Nation”, The Republican imposture”, Mbonimpa arguments trigger tense debate.

“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their real names,” said Confucius-a Chinese philosopher and politician.

“Regarding the fight against the Covid-19, the novelty is that there are vaccines that will reach us soon. We are therefore telling the population that we are acting in accordance with the objective set by the Father of the Nation,” announced the Minister of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS, during a press conference he held on October 12.

Another occurrence of this word fraud. After the magistrates have received a volley of green wood, the title of “Father of the Nation” is summoned to dispel any doubt about the benevolent intentions of the tenant of Ntare House.

“As a true Father of the Nation and Supreme Magistrate, he never ceases to reiterate his desire to battle against any form of injustice so that each citizen can fully enjoy their rights,” we can read in the press release of September 15 signed by Evelyne Butoyi, spokesperson for the President of the Republic.

In the political system in force in Burundi, the President of the Republic is elected by direct universal suffrage.

A majority of citizens delegate to him the supreme task of coordinating the management of his country during a mandate of 7 years. A service for which the first of the citizens receives a comfortable salary, honours and privileges.

The designation of “Father of the Nation” (Sebarundi in the national language) assumes that the person of the head of state is not the subject of a choice.

Therefore, the “Father of the Nation” is none other than the Mwami (king of Burundi). He was born Mwami and was only designated as such by a small, authorized group, Abanyamabanga (special advisers).

The political storytelling of Reta Mvyeyi, Reta Nkozi (the responsible and laborious state) is an institutional transposition of this republican imposture which turns a blind eye to the eagle’s talons around power. By treating adults like children, they end up behaving like children.

These new concepts of governance Reta mvyeyi, Reta nkozi, are, moreover, a screen against any form of dissent. Apart from a renegade, a traitor, one does not oppose the father guided by the sole common interest of “his children”.

We are adding our stone to the edifice. As part of a workshop with several political parties, Friday August 20, the Minister of the Interior, Community Development and Public Security invited political parties, including opposition, to contribute in the implementation of a national development strategy PND 2018-2027.

This new step taken in paternalism, mother of infantilism, perpetuates this mentality of assisted people.

President Ndayishimiye comes to practice micro-management – relayed on social networks for an amplifying effect – inappropriate for the governance of a state: he punishes, he moralizes and he forgives… like a true father.

Will the Burundians be reduced to just saying “thank you father”?

Republic of Uganda

In 2017, President Yoweri Museveni the ninth and current President of Uganda since 1986 told a big gathering that nobody hired him to manage Uganda and therefore nobody should pressure him over anything.

“I’m not working for other people, I’m working for my grandchildren, for my children,” said President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

Museveni, one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders has been in power for over three decades. He was addressing party faithful on the occasion of the 31st anniversary of his coming to power.

‘‘I hear some people saying that I am their servant, I am not a servant of anybody. I am a freedom fighter, that is what I do. I don’t do it because I am your servant, I’m not your servant. I am just a freedom fighter, I am fighting for myself or my beliefs. That’s how I come in, I’m not an employee,” a seemingly stressed Museveni said then.

‘‘If anybody thinks he gave me a job, he is deceiving himself. I am just a freedom fighter whom you thought could help you also,” he stated.

Museveni indeed didn’t not joke about his words, he recently appointed his son Major-General Muhoozi Kainerugaba to commander of the UPDF land forces.

The son has also previously held bigger slots including the position of Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations.

His wife, The First Lady Janet Museveni also serves as Minister of Education since her husband started his fifth term in office in 2016. She has also held bigger portfolios in Museveni’s government.

Despite Museveni rejecting the servant of the people suit, Ugandans refer to him as father of the nation.

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Politics

Police Blockades South Kivu Provincial Assembly

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The Congolese National Police is reportedly surrounding the South Kivu Provincial Assembly ahead of vote for censure against Governor Ngwabidje.

A motion was recently tabled before the assembly seeking to censure governor Ngwabidje and his government for mismanagement and incompetence.

The motion initiated by 12 deputies is scheduled for examination Thursday, December 02, 2021.

However, the President of the Provincial assembly Zacharie Lwamira has denounced the troops deployment saying this is tantamount to violation of the laws. The president of the Assembly warned against anyone who dares to prevent his institution from doing its constitutional work.

“I denounce for the benefit of provincial and national opinion, the situation which has prevailed in the Provincial Assembly since the transmission of the motion of censure against the provincial government of South Kivu. A large number of police officers besieged the provincial assembly in my area without my requesting it, ”he said during a press briefing held on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 in Bukavu.

Zacharie Lwamira also said that his bodyguard was withdrawn, and this, with violence without any information.

He informs that the security situation of all the provincial deputies of South Kivu is worrying following this situation and calls for the involvement of the national authorities.

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Politics

EAC Minister Call For ‘Readiness’ After Kampala Bombings

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East African Council of Ministers has called for the readiness of the possibility of more terrorist attacks in the region after the bombings of Kampala last week.

The Council of Ministers raised this concern at the Extra-Ordinary Council of Ministers meeting held in Arusha.

Ezekiel Niyibigira, the Burundian Foreign Affairs Minister in EAC said there are many possibilities of similar attacks in the region.

“Yesterday it happened in Uganda but tomorrow it may happen in another country as it happened in countries of our community like Kenya,” he said

Niyibigira called for improved relations among member countries to foster peace and security in the region.

“Burundi made an effort to help Rwanda when terrorists who were preparing to attack Rwanda arrested and they handed over to Rwanda two times and Rwanda handed over terrorists who attacked Burundi. This is very good progress we are making,”

Earlier this month Rwanda handed 19 armed terrorists to Burundi who had last conducted an attack in Burundi and fled to neighboring Rwanda.

George Odongo, the Ugandan lawmaker said the move of exchanging terrorists between two countries is a move of improved relations that need to be maintained.

He lauded that the building of relations is not a luxury but an important part as to why East African member countries integrated. We should guide ourselves in the direction of normalizing our relations between EAC countries because we can’t sit here and remain silent. It is not normal; it is wrong”

Last month, there were suspects that was targeting to detonate explosives in public spaces. Some of these suspects were allegedly found in possession of bomb-making equipment, including wires, nails and dynamite sticks and phones.

Some of the arrested suspects according to the crisis group, stated that the plotters were looking to punish Rwanda for its military intervention in Cabo Delgado, where its troops deployed in March in support of government efforts to stem the al-Shabab insurrection.

The Ugandan attack also comes after almost all EAC countries have either been attacked or got threats of attack.

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Politics

Burundi Targets Middle-income Status by 2040

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President Evariste Ndayishimiye is mobilising all Burundians both home and abroad to pool their skills and resources and develop Burundi.

Last week his government organized from November 18 to 19, 2021 a national forum on development, 1st edition.

“Together everything is possible,” President Ndayishimiye in his opening remarks at the forum convened at the Kigobe hemicycle in the town hall of Bujumbura.

According to him, it is possible, there are no thorns under our feet that prevent us from walking towards effective and inclusive development.

He deplored the unusual behaviour which encourages laziness, in particular the “benefactors and the commissioners”.

These kinds of behaviours prevent citizens from working and cause them to develop dependency. He underlined that the commissionaires are the vectors of underdevelopment. He also indicated that the flight of capital and brains remains one of the factors that handicap Burundi’s economic growth.

However, Ndayishimiye said that despite the challenges related to the instability of the macroeconomic framework, business opportunities abound in Burundi.

He cited the untapped sectors including industry, ecotourism, vocational education, social housing, logistics, health care, energy and ICTs etc.

For this 1st edition, 8 themes were on the agenda including rural development and food self-sufficiency, the macroeconomic framework for stability and sustained economic recovery, strengthening of human capital, development of the private sector, digitization. to stimulate development, the effectiveness of development aid, etc.

Among the other urgent recommendations resulting from this forum were the issue of foreign exchange, speed in monitoring the management and implementation of projects financed by technical and financial partners.

The other recommendation comes within the framework of monitoring and tracing export earnings and the use of foreign exchange granted to finance imports.

In the public finance sector, it is recommended to monitor the mechanisms for granting and monitoring exemptions and monitoring the execution of the public budget. Digitizing the system for collecting, processing and sharing information, and setting up consultation frameworks are also recommended for greater transparency.

The objective of this forum was to mobilize all the skills of Burundians living in Burundi and abroad to give their contributions to the various reflections and actions aimed at making Burundi an emerging country by 2040.

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