Uprona of opposition: “Nyakurization” on the horizon?

Tensions are running higher within Uprona party of the opposition. The president of this party has been suspended from his duties. A decision that has neither meaning nor effect, says Charles Nditije.

Evariste Ngayimpenda and Charles Nditije, before the disagreement arose

Evariste Ngayimpenda and Charles Nditije, before the disagreement arose

“The current president remains Charles Nditije,” said Bonaventure Gasutwa, newly appointed by Charles Nditije as a spokesman for Uprona party of the opposition. According to him, those who took the decision to suspend the chairman of the party had no competence to do so. “They are only greedy people who want to position themselves to occupy some places in the institutions.”

The camp of the vice-president, Evariste Ngayimpenda, understands the situation differently. “The suspension of Charles Nditije to the position of president was made according to the regulations that govern this party”, says Tatien Sibomana, Ngayimpenda’s right-hand man. According to him, the Executive Board of the Central Committee did its work in due form. “The president of Uprona party of the opposition is Evariste Ngayimpenda.”

The accusations against Charles Nditije include his desire to manage the party as if he were its founder. He is also accused of confusing Uprona party with the opposition platform CNARED. “If Uprona party never takes an official position through its organs and contents itself with the communiqués issued by Pancrace Cimpaye, it will be the end of Uprona in favor of the platform.”

Everything went on very quickly

The conflict arises from the dialogue session convened by the facilitator in the Burundi crisis earlier this year.

Charles Nditije adheres to the boycott launched by the opposition platform-CNARED. No dialogue as long as former President Mkapa is still a mediator. However, Ngayimpenda and his group in Bujumbura are more conducive to the dialogue. They decide to meet to rule on Arusha peace process. The decision is made. Uprona party must participate.

Nditije decides to get rid of Tatien Sibomana, spokesman for the party. The reason put forward by the president of this party is that Tatien Sibomana decided to respond to the invitation of the facilitator Mkapa despite his ban. “I have the competence to remove him from office because I am the one, not just the Executive Committee, who appointed him to his post.”

Evariste Ngayimpenda, Vice-president of the party convenes a press conference. He said that the decision to respond to Mkapa’s invitation had been decided by the Executive Committee. “He summoned Tatien Sibomana to participate. He shall not be removed from office following the decision of the Committee.”

Charles Nditije, on his side, continued his momentum and decided to appoint Bonaventure Gasutwa and Emmanuel Nkengurutse, as spokesman and deputy spokesman for the party respectively, on January 15 this year.

War of Texts

The Congress of Uprona party in 2014

The Congress of Uprona party in 2014

Every camp claims to be right, and the other is wrong, all this through the interpretation of the statutory provisions of the party. But who is right in the end?

According to Nditije camp, the suspension of Nditije violated the norms. For Gasutwa, the president and his vice were set up by the central committee of the party. The latter or the Congress have the prerogatives to suspend him. “It is not the Executive Board, which is at the lower level that can do so.”

“Even if the board were competent, the quorum was not met. The 23 signatures are not sufficient for more than 80 constituted members in 2014”, Gasutwa says.

He says that the reasons put forward by the opposing camp that the abandonment and exile decreased the number of the members of the office are baseless. “Who can say they gave up? Don’t those who are in exile work? ”

Ngayimpenda-Tatien camp denies categorically these allegations. According to Sibomana, Article 3 of the Rules of Procedure of the Executive Board of the Central Committee of Uprona party stipulates that “the meetings of this board shall be convened by the Party President or his Vice-President …”

Concerning the validity of meetings, Article 7 indicates that the members of the Executive Board deliberate validly if at least a majority of 2/3 of the members is present.

Concerning decision-making, consensus is a possibility. And failing that, the presence of the majority of 2/3 of the members according to its article 8.

Tatien Sibomana says that the Executive Board of the central committee of Uprona, which had previously had 71 members, suffered perdition following various cyclical crises. Thus, there were 3 deaths, including the late Manwangari.

Some have given up. There are 6 of them: Térence Sinunguruza, Bonaventure Niyoyankana, Eugène Ndaro, Victoire Ndikumana and Méthode from Mwaro. They no longer participate and did not go into Uprona institutions.

9 members were forced into exile and no longer attend meetings. “And if we ask them which camp they choose, it is not clear that they opt for Nditije,” says Tatien Sibomana. They include Baribwegure Pie, Aline Ngendankazi, Poppon Mudugu, Térence Ndikumasabo, Cathérine Mabobori, Kabura François, Bigirindavyi Thierry and President Charles Nditije.

Contacted to confirm his being away from the political scene, Bonaventure Niyoyankana says: “Given this tense atmosphere since my resignation, I do not belong to any Uprona, whether it is that of Nditije, Ngayimpenda or Gashatsi …

I could come back if it is to rebuild the party and unify it.”

Clearly, according to Tatien Sibomana, the so-called Board counts 18 perditions and 30 that remained in the country for a total of 48 members. The 23 others joined Uprona that’s in the government’s institutions.

Thus, out of the 30 members of the Executive Committee of the Uprona Central Committee, the quorum requires 2/3, i.e. 21 signatures. “We have gone beyond it, with 23 signatures.”


The two clans are far from burying the hatchet. Whatever the texts say, the opinion sees with concern a difficult time that’s roaming on the horizon : “the nyakurization” or “this famous split of a political party in two”. Indeed, neither Nditije nor Ngayimpenda is willing to throw in the sponge and let the other take over at the controls.

As for the question about the ongoing dialogue, it is clear that political realism requires the participation of that party in Arusha sessions. Nditije’s decision to boycott the latter was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

The stakes are too high to bury one’s head in the sand. This position could further hurt the camp of Nditije. The danger being to find itself isolated, for lack of alternatives to propose to its militants.

In any case, while the 2020 election deadlines are emerging, such disagreements are likely to be counterproductive.

This party is nevertheless one of the strongest formations of the opposition. They are making the happiness of others without their knowledge, beginning with Uprona party that is in the government’s institutions.