Pierre Nkurunziza, the President of Burundi will be a happy man in retirement thanks to a new law that was passed by the country’s Parliament on Tuesday.
According to this new law, all Burundi president’s will be entitled to a luxury villa and a one off sum equivalent to over $500,000 from public funds once they retire from office.
The law, that was voted for by a majority 98 MPs against just 2, comes in force just a few months away from the Burundian presidential elections in May that Nkurunziza has openly stated he won’t be competing in.
Five years ago, his campaign for a third term plunged the country into violence and led to an enduring political crisis that caused huge refugee influxes in neighboring countries especially Uganda.
The new law states that at the end of the mandate, the president will receive “a luxury villa built with public funds in the location of their choice within five years, as well as a one-off allocation of one billion Burundian francs [$530,000]”.
The legislation is careful to cut a difference between former heads of state elected via universal suffrage – of which Nkurunziza is the only candidate – and those who came to power via peace deals or military coups.
“A president who came to power via the simple consensus of a group of politicians does not have the same regard as one who was democratically elected,” Justice Minister Aimee-Laurentine Kanyana told the national assembly.
Nkurunziza and other retired presidents after him will also get the same benefits as a serving vice president for seven years after they step down, and will for the rest of their life get an allowance equal to that of a legislator (MP).
In 2018, Burundi adopted a new constitution by referendum which allows Nkurunziza to run for another term in office but he surprised political observers when he declared he was not going to seek a fourth term.