Steven Masiga: Nkuruzinza’s Cause Of Death Not Known In African Culture

By Steven Masiga

Whenever somebody has passed on, many conspiracy theories will be manufactured to explain what have caused the death and mourners to the deceased will engage into random accusations and the first casualties to be implicated will be the neighbors the deceased had quarreled with.

In the case of the death of the president of Burundi,”Heart attack and Covid_19″ should be ruled out as there is no certified postmortem report by the medical council of Burundi indicating such a cause of death. In the absence of a postmortem report there is technically wide ground for speculation.

First of all since it is on record that Nkurunzinza used to be at a sports tutor in one of Burundi’s top universities and carried on with sporting through his Heleluya foot ball club even as head of state, then the issue of “heart attack” should be ruled out unless there is a family history to that effect.

Second, the other possibility that we can be eliminated was the pending loss of political leadership since he was set to hand over power by August of this year, that should not have triggered a heart attack because, he was part of Government though in a different capacity as an eternal adviser and with monthly allowances and very well salaried.

The possibility of Covid -19 being the cause is equally shunted aside because Burundi was the last country in Africa to register Covid_19 cases given its geographical position as a landlocked country with minimal exposure to the outside world and the president didnot have a history of travelling especially to Covid_19 pandemic countries like China and America.

Above all, why would Covid-19 rush for the president and his family of all Burundians? The above exposition leaves room for other possible causes like “intrigue” within party ranks as a number of competent persons may have been left out, or “neighborly” hand and other negative forces in Burundi who were opposed to his leadership given the history of Burundi and his own background as a former rebel leader at some point.


Government of Burundi on Tuesday announced that President Pierre Nkurunziza died of heart failure on Monday just weeks after a crucial election to choose a successor to replace him after 15 years of autocratic rule over the Central African nation.

He died at a hospital in eastern Burundi after he fell ill over the weekend and was hospitalized after attending a volleyball game. He was 55.

Steven Masiga is a veteran trans-formative researcher on regional politics from Mbale-Uganda

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