Pié Masumbuko

Last updated

Pié Masumbuko (born 29 September 1931) is a Burundian retired politician and physician as a member of the Union for National Progress and the acting Prime Minister of Burundi from January 15 to January 26 of 1965.


He represented the nation of Burundi in signing the Partial Test Ban Treaty on October 4, 1963. [1]

Early life

Pié Masumbuko was born on 29 September 1931 at Rukiga, Kiganda commune, Muramvya Province, Ruanda-Urundi. [2] He was ethnically Tutsi. [3] From 1939 until 1943 he was educated in primary schools in Bukeye and Kiganda. He then received a secondary education and training as a medical assistant [2] at the Groupe Scolaire de Astrida. He subsequently attended Lovanium University in the Belgian Congo and in 1958 enrolled at the University of Paris to study medicine and political science on scholarship. He graduated in 1961, [3] thus becoming the first African in Ruanda-Urundi to have earned a degree in medicine. [2]

Political career

Masumbuko was a member of the Union for National Progress (UPRONA). In 1963 he became Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Health of Burundi under Prime Minister Pierre Ngendandumwe. In that role he helped secure diplomatic relations between Burundi and the People's Republic of China. He also helped to move supplies from Burundi to Simba rebels in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. [3] In 1963 he was arrested on the orders of Prime Minister André Muhirwa for plotting against the government, but was soon thereafter released upon the intervention of Mwami Mwambutsa IV. [4] In January 1964 he became the permanent secretary of UPRONA. That year he was appointed Minister of Health under Prime Minister Albin Nyamoya. [3]

In early January 1965 Nyamoya was dismissed by Mwambutsa, who asked Ngendandumwe to form a new government. Ngendandumwe was assassinated on 15 January, the day his government was announced. [5] Masumbuko then served as acting Prime Minister of Burundi from then until he was succeeded by Joseph Bamina on 26 January. [6] He served as Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Health under Bamina. That September a new government led by Léopold Biha came to power and he retained the health portfolio. [7]

Following a coup in 1966, Masumbuko was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs on 12 July by Mwami Ntare V. [8] The Mwami came increasingly into conflict with the government, and in September attempted to force Masumbuko to resign after a tract circulated accusing him of corruption. As a compromise, on 16 September he relinquished his foreign affairs portfolio and became Minister of Social Affairs. [9] In early April 1967 President Michel Micombero appointed him roving ambassador. [10] He was arrested by the regime on 6 July for allegedly contacting Congolese rebels to plot against the government [11] and eventually released on 28 November. He was detained again on 16 January 1971. [10]

Public health

In September 1973 Masumbuko went to France to receive specialised training from the World Health Organization (WHO). After one and a half years of study he was appointed WHO Representative in Chad. [10] He held the post until 1976, and then in 1985 became WHO Representative in Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, serving in that capacity until 1992. [2]

Related Research Articles

History of Burundi Aspect of history

Burundi originated in the 16th century as a small kingdom in the African Great Lakes region. After European contact, it was united with the Kingdom of Rwanda, becoming the colony of Ruanda-Urundi - first colonised by Germany and then by Belgium. The colony gained independence in 1962, and split once again into Rwanda and Burundi. It is one of the few countries in Africa to be a direct territorial continuation of a pre-colonial era African state.

Louis Rwagasore

Louis Rwagasore was a Burundian prince and politician who served as Prime Minister of Burundi from 28 September 1961 until his assassination on 13 October 1961. Born to the Ganwa family of Burundian Mwami Mwambutsa IV in Belgian-administered Ruanda-Urundi in 1932, Rwagasore was educated in Burundian Catholic schools before attending university in Belgium. After he returned to Burundi in the mid-1950s he founded a series of cooperatives to economically empower native Burundians and build up his base of political support. The Belgian administration took over the venture, and as a result of the affair his national profile increased and he became a leading figure of the anti-colonial activists. He soon thereafter became involved with a nationalist political party, the Union for National Progress (UPRONA). He pushed for Burundian independence from Belgian control, national unity, and the institution of a constitutional monarchy. Rwagosore sought to bring UPRONA mass appeal across different regions, ethnicities, and castes, and thus under his leadership the party maintained a leadership balanced between ethnic Hutus and Tutsis, though the latter were usually favored for more important positions.

Michel Micombero First President of Burundi

Michel Micombero was a Burundian politician and army officer who ruled the country as its first president and de facto dictator for the decade between 1966 and 1976.

Prime Minister of Burundi

This article lists the prime ministers of Burundi since the formation of the post of Prime Minister of Burundi in 1961 until the present day. The office of Prime Minister was abolished in 1998, and reinstated in 2020 with the appointment of Alain-Guillaume Bunyoni.

Ruanda-Urundi 1922–1962 League of Nations/United Nations mandate in East Africa

Ruanda-Urundi was a territory in the African Great Lakes region, once part of German East Africa, which was ruled by Belgium between 1922 and 1962. Occupied by the Belgians during the East African campaign of World War I, the territory was under military occupation from 1916 to 1922 and later became a Belgian-controlled Class-B Mandate under the League of Nations from 1922 to 1945. It was replaced by Trust Territory status under the auspices of the United Nations in the aftermath of World War II and the dissolution of the League but remained under Belgian control. Ruanda-Urundi was granted independence in 1962 as the two separate states of Rwanda and Burundi.

Pierre Ngendandumwe was a Burundian politician. He was a member of the Union for National Progress and was an ethnic Hutu. On 18 June 1963, about a year after Burundi gained independence and amidst efforts to bring about political cooperation between Hutus and the dominant minority Tutsis, Ngendandumwe became Burundi's first Hutu prime minister. He served as prime minister until 6 April 1964 and then became prime minister again on 7 January 1965, serving until his death. Eight days after beginning his second term, he was assassinated by a Rwandan Tutsi refugee.

Kingdom of Burundi

The Kingdom of Burundi or Kingdom of Urundi was a Bantu kingdom in the modern-day Republic of Burundi. The Ganwa monarchs ruled over both Hutus and Tutsis. Created in the 17th century, the kingdom was preserved under European colonial rule in the late 19th and early 20th century and was an independent state between 1962 and 1966.

Joseph Bamina was a Burundian politician and member of the Union for National Progress (UPRONA) party. Bamina was Prime Minister from 26 January to 30 September 1965, and President of the Senate of Burundi in 1965. He and other leaders of the government were assassinated on 15 December 1965, by Tutsi soldiers during a reprisal effort to stop a coup by Hutu officers.

Prince Léopold Bihumugani or Biha was a Burundian politician. He was appointed Prime Minister 13 October 1965 following the 10 May 1965 legislative election. He was the personal secretary of King Mwambutsa IV previous to his appointment as Prime Minister. He was Prime Minister until a coup on 8 July 1966 when Prince Charles Ndizeye overthrew his father and became King. Ntare V installed Michel Micombero to the post of Prime Minister.

Joseph Cimpaye was a Burundian politician and writer.

André Muhirwa was a Burundian politician as a member of the Union for National Progress and the third Prime Minister of Burundi from 20 October 1961 to 7 June 1963. His term coincided with Burundi's independence.

1965 Burundian coup détat attempt

On 18–19 October 1965, a group of ethnic Hutu officers from the Burundian military attempted to overthrow Burundi's government in a coup d'état. The rebels were angry about the apparent favouring of ethnic Tutsi minority by Burundi's monarchy after a period of escalating ethnic tension following national independence from Belgium in 1962. Although the Prime Minister was shot and wounded, the coup failed and soon provoked a backlash against Hutu in which thousands of people, including the participants in the coup, were killed. The coup also facilitated a militant Tutsi backlash against the moderate Tutsi monarchy resulting in two further coups which culminated in the abolition of Burundi's historic monarchy in November 1966 and the rise of Michel Micombero as dictator.

July 1966 Burundian coup détat

On 8 July 1966, a coup d'état took place in the Kingdom of Burundi. The second in Burundi's post-independence history, the coup ousted the government loyal to the king (mwami) of Burundi, Mwambutsa IV, who had gone into exile in October 1965 after the failure of an earlier coup d'état.


The Ikiza or the Ubwicanyi (Killings) was a series of mass killings—often characterised as a genocide—which were committed in Burundi in 1972 by the Tutsi-dominated army and government, primarily against educated and elite Hutus who lived in the country. Conservative estimates place the death toll of the event between 100,000 and 150,000 killed, while some estimates of the death toll go as high as 300,000.

Gilles Bimazubute was a Burundian politician.

Martin Ndayahoze was a Burundian military officer and government official who served variously as Minister of Information, Minister of Economy, and Deputy Chief of Staff of the Burundian National Army. He was the only Hutu military officer to serve in government under President Michel Micombero and frequently warned of the dangers of ethnic violence in his reports to the presidency. He was executed in 1972.

Artémon Simbananiye is a Burundian retired politician.

François Rukeba was a Rwandan politician and rebel leader.

Paul Mirerekano was a Burundian politician.

Michel Kayihura (1924–2003) was a Rwandan politician and veterinarian.


  1. United States Department of State. United States Treaties and Other International Agreements, Volume 14, Part 2. United States Government Printing Office: Washington, D.C., 1964. P. 1387.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Nikiza, Aegis (18 May 2019). "Au coin du feu avec Pie Masumbuko". Iwacu (in French). Retrieved 30 July 2021.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Weinstein 1976, p. 180.
  4. Lemarchand 1970, pp. 363–364.
  5. Weinstein 1976, p. 14.
  6. Eggers 2006, pp. 88, 169.
  7. Weinstein 1976, pp. 180–181.
  8. Lemarchand 1970, pp. 428–429.
  9. Lemarchand 1970, p. 432.
  10. 1 2 3 Weinstein 1976, p. 181.
  11. Lemarchand 1970, p. 454.

Works cited

Political offices
Preceded by
Pierre Ngendandumwe
Prime Minister of Burundi
Succeeded by
Joseph Bamina