Pierre Nkurunziza

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Person.png Pierre Nkurunziza  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(politician, COVID-19/Premature death)
Pierre Nkurunziza.jpg
Born18 December 1964
Died8 June 2020 (Age 55)
Cause of death
"heart attack"
Victim ofpremature death
The longest-ruling President of Burundi. Died suddenly in 2020 after expelling the WHO team and refusing to impose restrictions as a response to COVID-19.

Employment.png President of Burundi

In office
26 August 2005 - 8 June 2020
Outgoing President of Burundi who suddenly died after expelling the WHO COVID team from the country, reportedly of a "heart attack".

Pierre Nkurunziza was the longest-ruling President of Burundi. He died suddenly in 2020. In his obituary, Vava Tampa wrote for The Guardian that his "15-year-rule, particularly towards the end, was marked by brutal repression."[1]


In May 2020 Nkurunziza expelled the WHO team in Burundi, without giving reasons.[2] He had refused to impose restrictions, allowing sporting events and mass political rallies to go ahead.[3]


Pierre Nkurunziza was a friend of the President of Tanzania,[citation needed] John Magufuli (who died in March 2021) and who was similarly sceptical about the WHO's Covid-19 recommendations and refused to institute a COVID-19 lockdown.

Sudden illness and death

Pierre Nkurunziza commment.png

Nkurunziza was suddenly taken seriously ill after attending a volleyball match[4] on the night of Saturday 6 June.[5] Local media reported that "Nkurunziza is in the hospital in Karusi suffering from COVID-19".[6]

"He deteriorated very quickly",[7] and he died on 8 June. The next day[7] he was officially reported to have died of a "heart attack"[8][9] although MSN noted that he "died of Covid-19, diplomatic sources in Bujumbura and Nairobi confirmed."[4]

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