Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza has arrested two Burundi officials after the town's football team roughed him up during a match with his personal team. Witnesses say the Burundi President arrested the administrator of the northern town of Kiremba as well as his deputy who is in charge of the sport.
The pair of officials has been charged with "conspiracy against the president" Thursday after the Kiremba team played a match earlier this month against Nkurunziza's Allelua FC team. The president is also on his own team making the arrests appear like they were motivated by personal reasons.
Administrator Cyriaque Nkezabahizi and his deputy Michel Mutama recruited players among Congolese refugees living in a camp within the town. "These Congolese obviously didn't know President Nkurunziza because they roughed him up during the match, attacking each time he had the ball and making him fall several times while the Burundian players were careful not to get too close to him," a witness said.
It seems the town's officials are paying the price for not informing their players of the president's true identity. Nkurunziza is a "born-again" evangelical who spends at least half of every week traveling with his team Allelua FC and his choir "Komeza Gusenga". His choir's name translates to "pray non-stop" in the local Kirundi language.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="fr" dir="ltr">J'étais ravi de rencontrer les jeunes issus de plusieurs partis politiques d'Afrique & d'Europe venus s'associer aux Imbonerakure du Burundi <a href="https://t.co/toM48FSyv0">pic.twitter.com/toM48FSyv0</a></p>— Pierre Nkurunziza (@pnkurunziza) <a href="https://twitter.com/pnkurunziza/status/898932341166534656?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 19, 2017</a></blockquote>
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The Burundi president is also active in community development projects where he can be seen lugging around rocks or mixing cement. Nkurunziza is 54-years-old and was elected in 2005, he is also a former sports professor at the University of Burundi. He actively continues to practice swimming and cycling and is known to participate in up to three football matches a week.
Critics of Nkurunziza allege he is allowed to score several "bogus" goals during each match since no player dares to seriously take him on, until recently of course.
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