Burundi’s president Pierre Nkurunziza is allowed to score controversial goals during matches with his personal team but you dare not seriously take him on. Two officials who tried to do so during a similar match recently have been arrested.
The administrator of the northern town of Kiremba, Cyriaque Nkezabahizi and his deputy, Michel Mutama who is in charge of sport, have been charged with “conspiracy against the president” on Thursday, a source told the AFP on condition of anonymity on Friday.
The source said the Kiremba team earlier this month played a match against the president’s Allelua team. The administrator of the town of Kiremba had recruited players among Congolese refugees living in a camp in the town for the match.
“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 told the AFP.
The 54-year-old president, who is a former sports professor at the University of Burundi, plays about three football matches a week and still goes swimming and cycling.
He has been in power since 2005 and he is now pushing for changes to the constitution that would enable him to stay in power till 2034.