Popular Burundian comedian, Kigingi, was on Friday arrested for cracking a joke at the country’s President, his family has revealed.
The humorist and radio host whose real name is Alfred Aubin Mugenzi was arrested on Tuesday evening by Burundi’s National Intelligence Service (known by its French acronym, SNR) and charged with insulting President Pierre Nkurunziza.
He was arrested at a hotel while on a promotional tour for a beer company.
“He was transferred to Bujumbura and is being held in the SNR dungeons, but no one has been allowed to see him”, a relative who asked not to be named disclosed.
People arrested by the SNR are usually tortured or simply disappear.
Mugenzi was allegedly arrested “for contempt of the Head of state” after a skit he performed in neighbouring Rwanda last year, lampooned football-mad Nkurunziza, showing him refusing to leave the pitch despite receiving two yellow cards.
Nkurunziza’s refusal to stand down after two terms and instead run for a controversial third mandate in 2015 triggered bloody unrest in the country. Millions have fled to neighbouring countries as the crackdown on opposition leaders and their supporters intensifies.
An intelligence official confirmed Mugenzi’s arrest saying the comic routine was “insulting the president”.
“He will soon be released, this time,” the official added.
Source: The Punch