BUJUMBURA July 4th (ABP) – On July 1 of each year, Burundi celebrates its independence.
In Bujumbura, the economic capital, the ceremonies of the 60th anniversary of independence were honored with the presence of the Head of State, Mr. Evariste Ndayishimiye, accompanied by the First Lady, the President of the Central African Republic, Mr. Faustin Archange Touadera and the President of Zanzibar, Hassan Ali Mwinyi and his wife as well as many foreign delegations from friendly countries of Burundi.
The ceremonies began with the laying of wreaths at the Mausoleum of Prince Louis Rwagasore and at Independence Square by the Head of State and the First Lady, as well as representatives of the diplomatic and consular corps accredited to Burundi.
After the review of the troops by the Head of State and Chief-Commander of the Defense and Security Forces, it was the turn of a long parade of soldiers and police. The ceremonies were also embellished by the various animation groups of the Bene Ntare, the Majorettes just after the parade of the Baburikukiye (whose age coincides with the 60th anniversary of independence), aged 60.
In his speech for the occasion, the Head of State was first delighted to note that Burundi is a respectable country, as evidenced by the many foreign delegations who came to take part in the ceremonies.
The Head of State gave the floor to the President of the Central African Republic, Mr. Faustin Archange Touadera to greet the Burundians. The latter indicated that he came to show the gratitude of the Central African people to Burundi, stressing that Burundi and the Central African Republic are sister countries. He wished the people of Burundi peace and prosperity.
The President of the Republic of Burundi reaffirmed that before colonization, Burundians were a well-organized and intelligent people. They themselves made the metal tools they used and weapons to protect themselves against enemy attacks and to protect their territory. “It was the colonizers who destroyed Burundian culture,” he said.
During colonization, Burundians were classified into ethnic groups which, in reality, do not exist. Now, he rejoiced, the Burundians have come back to their reason and known what they are and what they are capable of.
The ceremonies of the 60th anniversary of independence ended with the awarding of prizes and the decoration of the various Burundian and international personalities who stood out in one way or another in their daily activities and who showed their sense of friendship towards Burundi, especially the President of the Republic of Kenya, Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta.
In Kayanza province (north), the ceremonies marking the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of Burundi’s independence began with the laying of wreaths at the independence monument located a few meters from the Kayanza provincial office by the administrative authorities, the defense and security corps, representatives of the judiciary as well as representatives of political parties. The ceremonies continued at the Gatwaro stadium and began with a long parade which brought together different socio-professional components from the nine communes of Kayanza province.
In his introductory speech, the communal administrator of Kayanza, Mr. Gilbert Nyandwi, deplored the case of the inhabitants who sell their land properties which, for him, sometimes causes banditry and violence of all kinds. He thus called on the people to manage the family heritage and inheritance as a good father.
At the same time, he asked that the pulping-washing stations that had not paid the coffee growers do so as soon as possible so that those who sold their cherry coffee could meet their daily needs.
In turn, the governor of Kayanza, Col. Rémy Cishahayo, recalled that this day is incomparable in the country without sparing the Kayanza province especially since it allowed Burundians to be free and to organize their country.
Based on the theme of the day, the same provincial authority in Kayanza called on the citizens to keep in mind that they are there to defend their country until they lose their lives as some ancestors did in the past. He returned to the colonial past while recalling the tragic moments that the country experienced before gaining its independence in 1961. He also asked the inhabitants of Kayanza to show solidarity in supporting this independence through development work.
He was delighted that the people of Kayanza are today at work for their self-development in particular and the development of the country in general. For Governor Cishahayo, this undoubtedly proves that they have changed mentalities, which, for him, demonstrates total sovereignty and independence in the management of the country, including the democratic establishment of different institutions.
However, Mr. Cishahayo deplored the behavior of some traders who raise prices for certain products as well as officials who embezzle the public treasury. To all those categories, he asked to pull themselves together.
In Bururi province, people responded to the ceremonies marking the 60th anniversary of independence. The ceremonies took place at the Kabuye Stadium located in the headquarters of Bururi province. The ceremonies were embellished by a long parade of pupils, civil servants from public and private services, community associations and financial institutions. This year, there was no military and police parade.
The speech for the occasion was delivered by the Governor of Bururi Col. Leonidas Bandenzamaso who, starting from the speech addressed to the nation by the President of the Republic, asked the people of Bururi to remain united in their ethnic and political diversity, and to work hard to increase production.