“Imboneza yamaho”, which is the true meaning?

President Nkurunziza was promoted by his party’s central committee as “eternal visionary leader.” A cult of the personality, denounce some people.

"Pierre Nkurunziza, a charismatic leader"

“Pierre Nkurunziza, a charismatic leader”

His title in Kirundi is “Imboneza yamaho”. It is difficult to translate both words without arousing controversy. This appointment was announced last weekend in Buye, the birthplace of the president. And everyone went back with their own version. Some say of “permanent guide”, “supreme and eternal guide”, “eternal visionary “, etc.

On Tuesday, 13 March, the Secretary General of CNDD-FDD party held a press conference to clarify ambiguity. He spoke of “visionary.” On wonders if it goes perfectly with the word ‘Imboneza’. Evariste Ndayishimiye did not add the word ‘yamaho’. Did he forget or was it a tactic to calm the passions?

An outcry has indeed been raised on social networks since the announcement of this new coronation of the president. His opponents criticize him as a “dictator” who wants to stay in power forever.

The election process is approaching. The upcoming election is scheduled for May 2018. Burundians are called to participate in the constitutional referendum. The new constitution will allow the president to run for the 2020 elections, “if the Bagumyabanga ask him”.

And at this stage, it is difficult to rely on another potential candidate from CNDD-FDD since the secret meeting held by members of the party Central Committee ruled on “the father of the nation, a charismatic leader who shines with his ideas and actions. The Secretary-General of the ruling party said: “No one can compare himself to President Nkurunziza.”


Domitien-Ndayizeye-600x483Domitien Ndayizeye: “An admission of capacity limit of its members.”

For the former President of the Republic, the distinction of President Nkurunziza is an internal management of his party. But this also shows the path that CNDD-FDD party is undertaking for 2020. Domitien Ndayizeye is still convinced that Burundi has many politicians, technicians capable of representing him at all levels. For him, this choice of the ruling party is an admission of the capacity limit of its members. “We cannot push them to have ambitions. He calls on political parties to propose better than the CNDD-FDD, and Burundians to take their responsibility and appreciate. “We do not have the leaders we deserve.”

Gaston SindimwoGaston Sindimwo: “We must respect the choice of Cndd-Fdd party”

The First Deputy President congratulates President Nkurunziza for his new title in his party. He believes that the choice of CNDD-FDD party must be respected.

“People tend to interfere in party affairs as if they feel more concerned. As for those who think that the ruling party is planning for the 2020 elections, Gaston Sindimwo believes that political parties must deal with their own organization and stop influencing others.

“Let’s wait and see what the CNDD-FDD is going to propose and stop this leap forward. »

Vital NshimirimanaVital Nshimirimana: “Concern over naivety of people close to president”

According to the human rights activist, President Nkurunziza is afraid of his entourage who are against the draft constitutional referendum that aims to keep him on power as long as he wants. Vital Nshimirimana assures that what worries him more is that people close to him are naïve and gullible. For him it’s time we saved the nation. Otherwise the country will sink into the abyss.

Gilbert-Bécaud-NjangwaGilbert Bécaud Njangwa: “I promise my support to the president”

The coordinator of the civil society-ONELOP Burundi congratulates the members of CNDD-FDD party for the good action of raising to the rank of “visionary”, President Pierre Nkurunziza. Gilbert Bécaud Njangwa in particular congratulates the President for the esteem that is added to his qualities. He supports the unity displayed by CNDD-FDD party. “We hope that Burundians will be inspired to continue to support the president in his development projects”. He promises his support to the president in all his activities.


Permanent, supreme, eternal…

Pierre Nkurunziza is the President of the Republic. Within the ruling party, he is the boss of the select committee of those who make the law: Council of the Wise.

All in all, this is already huge. So, when we learn that the secret meeting of Buye has decided to elevate the president to the rank of “Imboneza yamaho”, we wonder “Why?”

The new distinction of the president aims at silencing the ambitions of everybody within the party. It clarifies things: the one who keeps the house is ‘Papa Nkurunziza’, no one else.

As electoral deadlines are approaching with great speed, it is hard not to associate this title with the 2020 presidential elections. The most likely candidacy of Pierre Nkurunziza becomes obvious.

The Burundi image has been somewhat damaged at the international level since CNDD-FDD party appointed Nkurunziza for the 2015 presidential election. The distinction of the “visionary of all times” does not help matters. Some are already shouting at the personality cult. For many in the party, President Nkurunziza personifies strengthening of the party. He is the man who thwarted the 2015 coup. A miracle! So, a permanent, supreme, eternal guide, of all the time …

Agnès Ndirubusa translated by English Desk