AfricaPress-Tanzania: TANZANIA will continue to use its diplomatic expertise in spearheading efforts to ensure Burundi realises its dream of becoming a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa expressed the country’s commitment on Friday at Ingoma grounds in Gitega town, Burundi before the burial of former Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza (pictured) who died on June 8.
According to Premier Majaliwa, during his lifetime, the late Nkurunziza expressed his wish to see Burundi become a SADC member state, a desire that prompted him to seek diplomatic assistance from Tanzania. He made the remarks on Friday on behalf of President John Magufuli while attending the funeral.
“President Magufuli sends warm greetings to the wife and family of the deceased, the President of Burundi and the rest of the nation following the death of President Nkurunziza,” Mr Majaliwa said. He added that he believes Tanzania-Burundi brotherhood and solidarity would continue beyond the death of Presidentrole in strengthening the ties.
The country submitted its request to join the bloc in February 2017. The latest country to be admitted to the bloc is the Union of Comoros that was admitted at the 37th SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government held in Pretoria, South Africa in 2017, bringing the total number of member states to 16.
The bloc comprises Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is an inter-governmental organization headquartered in Gaborone, Botswana. Its goal is to further socioeconomic cooperation and integration as well as political and security cooperation among member States. While in Burundi, the prime minister used the opportunity to urge Burundians to co-operate with their new president, Evariste Ndayishimiye, as they did with the late Nkurunziza so that he could better lead the nation.
In turn, President Ndayishimiye said his government would cherish and promote all the good that had been done by the late Nkurunziza and thanked all the leaders from outside his country who participated in the funeral. The funeral was also attended by retired Fourth Phase President, Dr Jakaya Kikwete, his wife Mama Salma Kikwete and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Brigadier General Wilbert Ibuge.
After the funeral, Mr Majaliwa held talks with the Burundi president before returning home. President Nkurunziza died shortly after an election won by successor Ndayishimiye, who was sworn in last week, an investiture that was pushed forward from the original date of Augus