In an unexpected move, Burundi’s government has announced its acquisition of a substantial fleet of Rolls-Royce cars for officials and diplomats. These luxury vehicles, ranging in price from $355,000 to $470,000 each, are touted as part of a new strategy to enhance the nation’s international image and prestige.
As per a Ministry of Foreign Affairs representative, the Rolls-Royce cars are intended to attract foreign investment and tourism, in addition to strengthening diplomatic ties. “Our aim is to demonstrate that Burundi is a prosperous, stable nation, marked by a high standard of living and a sense of dignity,” the spokesperson emphasized. “We believe these cars can convey this message more powerfully than words alone.”
While the spokesperson denies any irresponsible use of funds, critics remain skeptical. They accuse the government of disconnect from reality and misuse of public resources for personal benefit. An opposition party leader, preferring anonymity due to potential reprisals, condemned the decision, calling it “scandalous and shameful,” highlighting the regime’s alleged corruption and incompetence.
Public outrage has erupted, with citizens expressing their frustration on social media. “How can they justify such lavish spending while essentials like food, water, and electricity are lacking?” questioned one Twitter user. Another juxtaposed a Rolls-Royce next to a rudimentary hut, captioning it: “Welcome to Burundi, where the rich thrive and the poor suffer.”
While the exact number and models of the purchased cars remain undisclosed, sources suggest their count might reach 50 or 60. The cars are expected to be delivered in the upcoming months, allocated across ministries, embassies, and agencies. An official ceremony, attended by President Evariste Ndayishimiye and other dignitaries, will celebrate their arrival.