Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza
Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza on Monday donated 5,000,000 Burundi francs (2,875 U.S. dollars) as part of the first contribution to the east African country’s 2020 elections.

The president deposited the contribution on an account open at the Burundi Central Bank (BRB) branch in Ngozi town, 125km north of the Burundian capital Bujumbura.

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After depositing the money, the Burundian president called on citizens and friends of the nation to contribute to the 2020 elections.

“In 2015, international partners disappointed us one week to the elections. They refused to disburse pledged funds. But citizens deployed their efforts and we were able to get 70 percent of the total budget from Burundian citizens,” Nkurunziza said.

He seized his opportunity to thank citizens who contributed “financially” to the country’s 2015 elections.

“It’s a lesson that we drew from the 2015 elections. We still have some three years ahead. That’s why the call for contributions is done now. Citizens can contribute once, twice or thrice depending on their level of patriotism,” he said.

He indicated that most African countries now rely on their own financial means when they organize elections.

“Burundi was probably the only country that relied on international partners’ contributions for an electoral process. When international partners finance an electoral process in a given country, they can sometimes influence those elections,” said the president.

“We hope to give further contributions next year and other years to come until 2020. Each Burundian citizen and friend of Burundi living in Burundi are therefore invited to contribute to the country’s 2020 elections,” Nkurunziza said.

He urged the finance minister and the home affairs minister to mobilize citizens for contributions to the 2020 elections.

During the celebration of the country’s 55th independence anniversary on July 1, Nkurunziza had called on Burundian citizens to contribute to the 2020 general elections.

Burundi plunged into a crisis since April 2015 when President Nkurunziza decided to run his controversial third term in violation of the national constitution and the 2000 Arusha Agreement.

His candidature, which was opposed by the opposition and civil society groups, resulted in a wave of protests, violence and even a failed coup on May 13, 2015. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/Newsghana.com.gh