Burundians urged to embrace tolerance

Burundians are called on to embrace political tolerance to avoid violence that may arise. This was said in a workshop organized by a local NGO, ‘Initiative et Changement’, this Wednesday 3rd 2019.

Protais Nteziriba: “Tolerance is a virtue that has to be taught in families, schools and universities”

Protais Nteziriba, former university lecturer and consultant calls on all Burundians to adopt and preach tolerance in their daily life. “Tolerance is a virtue that has to be taught in families, schools and universities. When a child grows up knowing that they have to listen to others, they learn to tolerate others’ opinions,” he says, adding that intolerance leads to political crisis and war.

He says all the crisis that the country has gone through are the result of intolerance. He appeals to Burundians to learn from these consequences of political intolerance and adopt tolerance to avoid war. “Let’s learn from the disastrous consequences of intolerance to engage in tolerance”.

Mr. Nteziriba says tolerance should apply at every level regardless of the power of some or others. “Political leaders, public administration, NGOs and all Burundians should adopt tolerance”.

Célestin Nsabimana, political parties’ forum vice-representative, says it is difficult to adopt political tolerance in Burundi. “Soon, political parties are beginning their propaganda for 2020 elections while we know that elections are mostly characterized by scenes where members demonize each other. How will we be able to avoid political intolerance?” he wonders.

Mr. Nsabimana says it is impossible not to react to the other political parties’ attacks. “About tolerance in Burundi, there is still a long way to go as there are people who use their power to oppress others”.

Mr. Nteziriba says politicians have to learn to make propaganda without insulting others. “There is a polite way of making propaganda while respecting others’ opinions. Politicians have to learn to blame their opponents’ faults in a respectful way”.

While the workshop focused on political tolerance on the eve of the 2020 elections, misunderstandings and political intolerance between members of different political parties are observed throughout the country.