Nkurunziza’s widow returns to Burundi following husband’s death

FILE PHOTO: Denise Bucumi Nkurunziza. (Photo by Tchandrou Nitanga / AFP)

The widow of the late Burundi president Pierre Nkurunziza, Denise Bucumi, returned to the country on Tuesday evening following the death of her husband, the BBC reported.

Her return came just hours after the Burundian government announced that her husband had died of a heart attack.

According to the BBC, who quoted an unnamed source, Mrs. Nkurunziza was discharged from the private hospital on Tuesday.

Denise Nkurunziza had been airlifted to the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, last month for medical treatment. According to the Daily Nation, a Kenyan publication, Mrs. Nkurunziza was being treated at the Aga Khan University Hospital for COVID-19 and an underlying condition. An official at the presidency, however, denied speculation that she had been receiving treatment for COVID-19, the BBC said.

Mrs. Nkurunziza, a mother of five and devout Christian, is popular in the country for her philanthropic work through her foundation called Buntu.

On Tuesday, Burundi’s government announced the sudden death of Pierre Nkurunziza at the Karusi Fiftieth Anniversary Hospital following a cardiac arrest.

Nkurunziza, 55, who was due to step down in August after 15 years in power, will be succeeded by Evariste Ndayishimiye who won the May 20 presidential election.

The government declared seven days of national mourning for the late leader.