Closing the week of the presidential family’s crusades, held in Ngozi, Mwumba commune, from 26 to 30 December, Denise Bucumi-Nkurunziza, the first lady of Burundi made a prayer-confession in which she said aloud all that the Burundians dare only to say in a whisper. Intahe gives you the full prayer (translated from Kirundi) and an international expert in speech analysis tries to dissect the prayer.
By Gilbert Niyonkuru
It is recalled first that the first lady of Burundi is a reverend-pastor and that each end of the year, the presidential family organizes crusades to “give thanks to the Lord”, in which all the dignitaries must take part.
Thanking the Lord on December 30, 2018, Denise Bucumi-Nkurunziza prayed with these words:
God, you do not tolerate sins and abominations. In our country, Burundi, we have committed sins against you. We received several tips, we were often notified, but we turned a deaf ear. Lord, you have prepared this beautiful day for us to enter the New Year being delivered and purified.
Lord Almighty, we prostrate before you, powerful and humble, to confess all our sins. Certainly, several people died in Burundi. Killed by their close friends because of jealousy and hatred. God of heaven, because of the different settling of accounts, the blood was shed.
This morning I read a passage that says the bloodshed will be avenged by the shedding of blood and the one who pours out the blood of others will see his blood also shed. I was afraid of this word. You took again for the second time: the one who pours the blood of others, his will also be poured, you showed me names of people, I was amazed, I found myself writing these names, taking them one by one.
The bloodshed in Burundi …
Eternal God, many have shed blood. In the name of Jesus, we kneel before you, asking for forgiveness. There are those who have stolen, some who have enriched themselves illegally and who continue to plunder. In the name of Jesus, there are some who rule by force and dictatorship. Those who deprive others of their rights, there are. Those who do adultery, there are plenty of them. In the name of Jesus, those who work with rancor, jealousy and hatred, those who take revenge, they are many, we repent for pride in hearts.
God of heaven, we have benefited from your grace, different positions have been entrusted to us. But when we get there, we are more ungrateful, as if we put ourselves in this position, even the one on which God has passed, we come to denigrate him, to consider him as a beautiful for nothing. You are witnessing all this these days, O Lord eternal. In the name of Jesus, people call themselves strong and powerful and attack the weak.
God of heaven, these days, those who have a lot of riches continue to accumulate more. They even try to steal what belongs to the weak and the poor. God of heaven, we have sinned against you, we prostrate before you, the powerful and weak are kneeling today to ask forgiveness. The servants of God, we kneel to beg your forgiveness, for not having done correctly what we are charged with, for lying, in the name of Jesus, for being ingested in matters that do not concern us.
In the name of Jesus, we bow to you, we ask forgiveness, we are here on behalf of other Burundians who are not here. King of Kings. Lord, it is you who have said that if we repent of our sins, you will forgive us, you will forgive our country and even in the event of the dryness of the rain, it will fall. Lord, if we repent, no doubt, the rain of blessing will fall in our country Burundi.
From the richness of the Burundian soil …
In the name of Jesus Christ, the minerals, these riches that you have given us, it is the moment that their exploitation is made in the transparency, so that every Burundian profits from it, that it is not certain who profit from it, that it is not certain groups, but that all Burundians benefit. You gave us a rich basement, it is time that the exploitation is made in the transparency, it is time that it enriches us all. It’s time. Maybe it has always been a group affair and managed in a hurry because of our weakness, our sins. Forgive us, Lord, that our minerals are managed and exploited in a transparent manner, and that we share all the dividends.
The fuel we missed, it is possible to have in this country for our good.
I call the blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse us from our sins and make us righteous. May his forgiveness be upon us.
“The preaching has no other aim than electioneering”
According to an international analyst of speeches and university professor, in a context of deprivation of freedom of expression, this pastor who is obviously convinced of the effectiveness of her mission, feels on her shoulders the heaviness of the crimes committed under the embodied power by his own (his husband, his party, his ethnicity).
The expert in speech analysis recalls that the year 2019 is a year before the election period in Burundi. Based on the periodization of the election period by Anne Marie Gingras, the year 2019 will be a year of the pre-election campaign. Denise Bucumi poses 4 speech acts in electioneering speech:
First, the Confession of Sins (she admits many of the crimes committed in Burundi). It adopts the position of the one who is wrong, who has hurt and who confesses: “we are on our knees, we kneel before you” .
By the “we”, she takes the part of those who have committed these crimes, she expresses the solidarity with the criminals and apologizes for them.
As Burundian society is almost totally Christian, it is sympathetic to someone who asks for forgiveness. Bucumi is therefore sure and certain that Burundians will be sensitive to his prayer.
The sins for which she confesses: “To turn a deaf ear to the various counsels lavished on us, which blocked many blessings that were destined for the Burundians, we have committed many crimes” and enumerates the list: The crimes of blood: the people were killed by their friends, really a lot of blood was shed. The looting of public goods, the injustices, the hate, the all-out settling of accounts, the megalomania of those who have been appointed to positions of responsibility, the pride of the rich, the adulterous, the insatiable who continue to steal people. , especially to steal the poor …
Request for forgiveness in the name of power
“We kneel before you, grant us pardon, may your forgiveness be granted to us! Where we failed in our duties, where we lied when we interfered in matters that do not concern us, you are the most powerful, even when the rain dries up, it can rain “ , par- there, the first lady aims to encourage Burundians in general and the militants in particular, to trust them again, analysis is one. She also wants to create hope among Burundians for a better future, when she says:
“You gave us a lot of riches, you gave us many blessings: minerals, other riches. It’s time to put some light in there. May our minerals be profitable to all. We can all be rich. It is possible that the fuel is available in our country and that we all live easily. Powerful God, you are able to break hard hearts. You are the source of peace, you are the most powerful. I thank you for what you will accomplish for us. It is now that your will must be fulfilled for us … “
The expert demonstrates that in her prayer, the first lady of Burundi realizes the gravity of these crimes and its impact on the electoral future of her camp and raises the fear to prevent possible criminals by predicting the punishment to those who have shed blood. By that, she hopes to get the sympathy of the victims, according to the expert.
In order to face the pre-election year (2019) with greater confidence, she prepares the ground by confessing, asking for forgiveness, promising a change, promising the punishment to the bad servants, promising a better future, in short, she asks the public voter to rearm patience.