“If your own citizens tell you we don’t want you to lead us, how do you say ‘I am staying whether you want me or not’?” President Paul Kagame of Rwanda has asked his Burundi counterpart, Pierre Nkurunziza.
Kagame was speaking to China Central TV special contributor, James Chau, at the 45th St Gallen Symposium in Switzerland yesterday.
“It is not just about the 3rd term. It is about service delivery,” Kagame pointed out.
He said the matter had already shifted from the pursuit of a third term to the issue of how much and what the leader has delivered to the people.
Burundians have since a week ago been protesting Nkurunziza’s return in the June elections.
According to Kagame, Burundians are saying Nkurunziza has not delivered much which he termed as a “serious problem”.
According to Kagame, Nkurunziza should heed the people’s voice and call for him to leave power as the constitution dictates.
He pledged that Rwanda would continue welcoming those fleeing the wrath of Nkurunziza’s imbonerakure militia.
Currently, Rwanda is hosting nearly 25,000 of the 40,000 refugees who fled Burundi amid death threats by the ruling party’s torturous private militia.
“We will welcome the refugees, we will do the best we can, working with the UNHCR, with other countries and the region,” Kagame said.
He, however, warned that it was important that the region stops producing refugees.
EAC heads of State are expected to meet in Dar Tanzania next week to address the Burundi crisis.
Nkurunziza who has been warned by EU and US against standing, insists he will run for only a third term and won’t ask more.
Tanzania President, Jakaya Kikwete, warned him against breaching the Arusha Accord and raping the constitution.
However, his party nominated him, the constitutional court validated his bid and Nkurunziza personally told EAC foreign ministers he was running again.
African Union and Burundi opposition have asked for the disarmament of Imbonerakure and the postponement of June elections.