The former first lady says God has given her strength

Burundi’s former First Lady, Denise Nkurunziza has told mourners at Gitega’s football stadium that her late husband Pierre Nkurunziza did “noble deeds”, and had “a good end and a peaceful death”.

Mrs Nkurunziza had to leave her hospital bed in Kenya, where she was being treated for an undisclosed illness, a day after the government announced her husband’s death from a cardiac arrest on 9 June.

She told the nation she was thankful to God for giving her and her five children strength:Quote Message: I personally have lost my love, children have lost their parent. I thank God for giving us strength to be standing in these hard times, after suddenly losing someone you love.”

“I personally have lost my love, children have lost their parent. I thank God for giving us strength to be standing in these hard times, after suddenly losing someone you love.”

Tanzania’s prime minister and Zambia’s first lady are among thousands of people present at Friday’s ceremony.

Nkurunziza is to be buried later in the capital Gitega in a special mausoleum that was built in the two weeks since he died.

Afterwards the national flags in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania will be raised again having been flown at half-mast for a fortnight in his honour.

The opposition in Burundi and human right groups have frequently accused Nkurunziza’s government of being highly intolerant and committing gross human rights violations.