Burundi: Reconciliation between SAHWANYA FRODEBU and FRODEBU Nyakuri, a polemical issue.

Following the recent communiqué of SAHWANYA FRODEBU stating the ‘reconciliation’ of both SAHWANYA FRODEBU and FRODEBU Nyakuri took place, the president of FRODEBU Nyakuri, Keffa Nibizi, denied vehemently the said ‘reconciliation’ and stated that it was a ‘sham reconciliation’, Keffa Nibizi told RegionWeek.

Keffa Nibizi(right) reading a statement when refuting claims of reconciliation.

THE BIG PICTURE: SAHWANYA FRODEBU and FRODEBU Nyakuri parties in Burundi are seen as ‘twin parties’ even if they are much separated on some internal issues. FRODEBU Nyakuri( translated to ‘Real FRODEBU’), led by Keffa Nibizi which has a more lenient approach towards the Burundi ruling government, and recognized by the latter, differs much with SAHWANYA FRODEBU, led by Pierre Claver Nahimana and his Vice-President, Léonce Ngendakumana, which is more critical to the ruling government.

The President of FRODEBU Nyakuri, Keffa Nibizi, in an exclusive interview with RegionWeek, slammed the leaders of SAHWANYA FRODEBU of ‘sabotaging his party value’. RegionWeek wanted to ask him about this issue which keeps them miles apart whereas they are seen as ‘twin brothers’.

 Following the recent communiqué of SAHWANYA FRODEBU of reconciliation between you and them, you denied categorically that there was no reconciliation, what can you say about it? What is its origin?

Keffa Nibizi: “We wanted to shed more light on this sham reconciliation and refute reports that there was no one of FRODEBU Nyakuri party members has joined or reconciled with SAHWANYA FRODEBU. People who said this ‘reconciliation’ had the intention of misleading our loyal party members, that is why we rejected it and refuted this sham reconciliation”.

Do you see that the reconciliation between you and SAHWANYA FRODEBU will be the ultimate goal to reach?

Keffa Nibizi: “It is very hard to promise the reconciliation between FRODEBU Nyakuri and SAHWANYA FRODEBU because Since 2005, SAHWANYA FRODEBU took a more anti-democratic course; this leads to the conclusion that it is not easy for our reconciliation”.

Can you be more specific about this: SAHWANYA FRODEBU indicates that democracy is its core value and recently it withdrew itself from the CNARED Coalition platform, a radical opponent coalition of the ruling party, CNDD-FDD, how can you say that some of the members who joined SAHWANYA FRODEU are from CNARED?

Keffa Nibizi: “You should remember that SAHWANYA FRODEBU was once in CNARED then it quit, then it is usual to see that others who quit the CNARED platform may join their former colleagues who were together in the CNARED platform”.

Maybe it is because SAHWANYA FRODEBU is more critical of the ruling government than you do, then you don’t share the same views?

Keffa Nibizi: “Our politics is not based on the ruling government of Burundi. It is based on the benefits of the Burundians. We advance by showing what can be done instead of being overly critical without showing how you surpass them in all aspects”.

We are heading towards 2020 presidential elections, there are many speculations that some parties will do a coalition to send a unique candidate to compete with the CNDD-FDD candidate, do you plan to be part of such coalition of parties?

Keffa Nibizi: “The decision to be part of the coalition of other parties is an important one which is taken by the Party National Director Committee, but until now, the latter has not said anything about joining the coalition of other parties”.

How are you prepared for the 2020 presidential elections?

Keffa Nibizi: ” We are much prepared to compete in the all organized 2020 elections and we are ready to come off victorious”.

There are some speculations that you are under the control of the ruling party, CNDD-FDD, what do you say about it?

Keffa Nibizi: “Those who say that we are under the wing or control of the ruling party do not know our party’s objective. We are an independent party”.

Some observers argue that in order to win over the CNDD-FDD candidate, it is better to send a unique candidate, as Rwasa Agathon, who can beat the CNDD-FDD in 2020 presidential elections, what do you say about it?

Keffa Nibizi: “We are ready to win the 2020 elections even if we go it alone”.

 How did you see the decision of Burundi government to let Rwasa Agathon work freely and publicly, despite recent opposition by the Bujumbura mayor, and proceeded with launching officially his newly formed and recognized party, CNL(National Congress for Liberty?

Keffa Nibizi: “We were delighted by this decision of Burundi government because Rwasa Agathon and his members have the right to engage in politics in accordance with laws which govern all Burundians”.

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