Today, social media was filled with news of the passing of the outgoing president of Burundi, his excellency Pierre Nkurunziza at the age of 55. Reports indicate that he died of a heart attack.
Earlier, reports had been circulating that the president was not in good health and had been hospitalized to monitor his condition and today the government announced his passing.
The Burundi government announced the death on Tuesday, saying the head of state had succumbed to a heart attack.
“The Government of the Republic of Burundi announces with great sadness the unexpected death of His Excellency Pierre Nkurunziza, President of the Republic of Burundi, at the Karusi Fiftieth Anniversary Hospital following a cardiac arrest on June 8, 2020,” the government said.
Nkurunziza’s death comes just ten days after his wife Denise Bucumi Nkurunziza was airlifted to Nairobi after contracting COVID-19. His mother, sister, and other members of the family are all hospitalized with what is believed to be COVID19.
According to the statement, Nkurunziza had attended a volleyball match on Saturday afternoon and was taken to the hospital that evening after falling ill.
Although he appeared to recover on Sunday and spoke to those around him, he suddenly deteriorated on Monday morning. He then suffered a heart attack and despite an immediate resuscitation attempt, doctors were unable to revive him.
Nkurunziza died at a hospital in Karuzi, eastern Burundi.
The government said there would be a period of national mourning for seven days from Tuesday and that flags would be flown at half-mast.
President Nkurunziza did not vie in his country’s May elections, the first time in 15 years that he did not run for the presidency.
He served three terms, the third of which sparked lengthy unrest in the country to which he was set to leave power to the new president-elect General Evariste Ndayishimiye of the ruling party.
In power since 2005, Nkurunziza was due to be replaced in August by political ally Evariste Ndayishimiye, who was declared earlier this month the winner of a May 20 presidential election.
Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is an avid Sports and Tech enthusiast. He loves to keep up to date with all the latest information and research on some of the most compelling stories.