Match Officials in jail after Burundi President is ‘roughed up’ in a game:
Two Burundian officials have been imprisoned after the country’s president was supposedly “roughed up” in a football match they organised.
President Pierre Nkurunziza is a ‘born-again’ evangelical Christian who spends a lot of his time travelling Burundi together with his own team, Haleluya FC. He travels with his own choir, “Komeza gusenga”, which means “pray non-stop” in the local Kirundi language.
On 3 February, his team faced a side from the northern city of Kiremba.
Ordinarily, the opposition is well aware that they’re playing against the nation’s president, and it has been said that they should go easy in the games, even maybe allowing Nkurunziza to score.
However, as the Kiremba team contained Congolese refugees who didn’t know that they were playing against Burundi’s president, they “attacked each time he had the ball and made him fall on several occasions”, a witness told AFP.
Kiremba’s administrator Cyriaque Nkezabahizi along with his assistant, Michel Mutama, were imprisoned on Thursday, the news agency reports.
AFP cited a judicial source saying they were arrested on charges of “conspiracy against the president”.
President Nkurunziza and his government were in 2017 implicated in a United Nations report which said there were powerful proof crimes against humanity had been committed in the nation.
The report said government forces – but also opposition groups – had committed killings, torture and rape after violence erupted in 2015.
The turmoil was sparked after President Nkurunziza decided to run for a third term.
He was afterwards re-elected in a poll that was boycotted by the opposition.