Outgoing Burundi president to get luxury villa, lifetime salary

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Burundi’s parliament has voted to provide outgoing president Pierre Nkurunziza a luxury villa and pay him $530,000 when he leaves office.

Burundi is set to elect a new leader on May 20 this year after Nkurunziza confirmed he will not run for a fourth term in power. Instead, a draft law has been passed that will also give him the title of “Supreme Leader” and see him receive a lifetime wage equal to that of a lawmaker, as well as the same benefits as a serving vice-president for seven years after stepping down.

Nkurunziza set for lavish retirement

Burundi’s parliament approved the bill with a 98 percent majority on Tuesday with just two lawmakers opposing it. The proposal has been described as “exorbitant” by some but the general consensus is that Pierre Nkurunziza not running in the upcoming election is the best thing for the country.

Burundi descended into chaos in 2015 when Nkurunziza announced he would run for a third term in power.

He ultimately won the election but brought the country to the brink of civil war, crippled the economy and isolated Burundi from the international community in the process. During his third term, parliament passed amendments to the constitution that would have allowed Nkurunziza to run once again, prompting fears he would seek a fourth term as president.

However, Nkurunziza has confirmed he will step aside for a new leader and parliament is set to reward him handsomely for it.

Featured image: By Copyright World Economic Forum (www.weforum.org)/Eric Miller, mailto:emiller@iafrica.com emiller@iafrica.com) – Pierre Nkurunziza – World Economic Forum on Africa 2008, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5685472

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.