GITEGA May 29th (ABP) – The Bill number 1/06 of March 10, 2020 establishing and granting the status of Supreme Guide of Patriotism in Burundi to President Pierre Nkurunziza presented by the Minister of Justice, Mrs. Jeanine Nibizi was passed on Thursday May 27, 2021 by 38 senators out of 39 who participated in the plenary session of the Senate, in the Gitega House. The session was chaired by the 1st vice president of that Upper House of Parliament, Mrs. Spès Caritas Njebarikanuye.
In her explanatory memorandum, the Justice Minister indicated that Law number 1/06 of March 10, 2020 establishing and granting the Status of Supreme Guide of Patriotism in Burundi to President Pierre Nkurunziza requires modification for 3 main reasons. First, article 4 of the amended law establishes a national day dedicated to patriotism and organized in July of each year while the Government wants to celebrate it on June 8 of each year. Second, the same article provides for a decree implementing the law and specifies the modalities for celebrating the day, and the Government’s concern is that the decree to be put in place does not conflict with that law. Third, the law specifies that the national day dedicated to patriotism is chaired by President Pierre Nkurunziza while he is no longer alive. It is thus imperative to replace President Pierre Nkurunziza with the President of the Republic.
The Bill contains five articles namely Articles 1 and 2 which speak of the establishment of the honorary title of “Supreme Guide of Patriotism in Burundi” and what makes it ideal. Article 3 on its part explains the merits which confer this title on President Pierre Nkurunziza. Article 4 establishes a national day of patriotism chaired by the President of the Republic on June 8 of each year. Article 5 relates to the final provision.
In turn, the senators asked if that title could be attributed to another President of the Republic who would have such merits. The Minister of Justice replied that President Pierre Nkurunziza is elevated to the rank of Supreme Guide of Patriotism in Burundi in recognition of his commitment, his exceptional dedication to the defense of national sovereignty and to the awakening of the patriotic consciousness of Burundians. It is understandable that this high dignity could not be conferred on any other authority. If it turned out that another personality had the merit of being honored by the people of Burundi, they would bestow a title worthy of his rank because of the facts rendered in their favor.
The senators also asked for the modalities of celebration of the day of patriotism in Burundi. Minister Nibizi replied that the modalities for celebrating that day as well as other accompanying measures are determined by the decree implementing that law. This will include the general organization of the day, the places of ceremonies, the form of ecumenical prayer, and so forth.
Senators then asked if the day will be celebrated this year. Mrs. Nibizi replied that if it happened that the law be promulgated within a reasonable time allowing to materially organizing the day, it would be for the Government an adequate framework to make the People of Burundi remember the heritage of President Nkurunziza.
Many senators recommended that the implementing text of that law could provide for material honors to pay tribute to him in memory of the many patriotic works carried out. Among other things, they proposed the construction of monuments dedicated to President Nkurunziza at the level of communes and provinces, media coverage of extracts from his speeches on certain occasions, the choice of infrastructure bearing the name of President Nkurunziza, and so on.
The Minister of Justice replied that she will forward those recommendations to the highest authorities.