BURUNDI : Take heed from your neighbor.

Arriving at the Bujumbura International Airport, one cannot help but feel a sense of something deeply amiss.

The airport buildings are begging for fresh paint. The stench within assaults you with a vengeance. Something is terribly wrong in this land that is richly endowed with class, culture and a rich and long heritage. God knows I love this land where half of my brothers and sisters were born. Matana, that citadel of missionary zeal evokes deep emotions in the Shalita Family. So, it is not from malice that I sound this alarm.

Burundi is tittering on becoming a failed State, unless immediate and merciless action is taken.

The once clean city is now competing with Kampala at being East Africa’s dirtiest.

There does not seem to be city planning to speak of. Kiosks are mushrooming all over the city like there is no tomorrow. Even in rich residential neighborhoods.

Bujumbura drivers have no discipline. It is each man for himself. Pedestrians have no right of passage and cross streets at the risk of losing life or limb. Oh ! Burundi,
what hast thou done to your soul ?

But the nail in the casket for me was when the Immigration Officer that stamped my passport asked for BOMBO. My heart
sunk, but I truly felt her pain, for this is a sign of a sinking ship. A mother has a right to make a living wage to
feed her children.

Burundi’s leaders ought to learn from their neighbor Rwanda. Keep in mind that pride goes before a fall. There is
no excuse to run this great land aground. The people of this great and ancient civilization have what it takes to change course. Do Burundi’s leaders ?

That is the question, and this is my opinion.


One response to “BURUNDI : Take heed from your neighbor.

  1. Jean-Marie Ngendahayo

    Dear Willis,

    The Immigration Officer begged for a “bonbon” a sweet if you prefer… This do not exonerate her or us for corruption, alas!

    What you saw is a drop in an ocean of mismanagement, corruption, political abductions, assassinations and general insecurity all over thee country. Indeed, Burundi is becoming a “Failed State”.
    However, I don’t think that Rwanda is necessarary the other face of the coin. Rwanda is definitely on the right track in many ways, but if lack of political “ouverture” is persisting, the whole edifice can collapse soon or later…
    By ouverture, I simply mean more freedom of speach and more room for a constructive opposition. Burundi experienced such thrilling and bloosoming period of economic expansion under Bagaza rule. And because of bad political governance, everything collapsed like a house of cards.
    Yours Truly! Jean-Marie Ngendahayo

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