Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Man City face further action over financial fairplay ‘breaches’

Burundi’s chief justice has ordered the seizure of property belonging to jailed army officers and exiled opposition activists accused of supporting a supposed coup plot against President Pierre Nkurunziza.

The order, signed late on Tuesday, targets dozens of government critics accused of spearheading a failed challenge against Nkurunziza in May 2015, when he announced he would run for a controversial third term.

The property and assets belonging to 32 opposition leaders and journalists in exile, and nine jailed military officers, should be “exploited by the state”, said the order co-signed by the Supreme Court chief justice and attorney general.

Government critics said the ruling made a mockery of Burundi’s judiciary and underscored the ongoing persecution meted out against the beleaguered political opposition.

“Pierre Nkurunziza and his henchmen continue the persecution of opponents of the 3rd mandate by seizing their property… a decision which once again ridicules the Burundian justice system,” Vital Nshimirimana, one of the exiled opposition figures targeted in the order, wrote on Twitter.

Burundi exploded into violence when Nkurunziza announced his candidacy in April 2015. He was re-elected in July of that year.

The chaos that followed left at least 1 200 people dead, according to estimates by the International Criminal Court which has opened an investigation.

More than 400 000 people fled the country, including journalists critical of the government and civil society activists.

In May 2016, the Supreme Court sentenced 21 army officers allegedly involved in the failed coup against Nkurunziza to life in prison. A few months earlier, 17 other officers were jailed for five to 30 years over their role in the alleged plot.

The main opposition party says dozens of its activists have been arrested this year alone in “manhunt” that has seen their meetings shutdown and leaders harassed.

Burundi’s independent media were among the most flourishing in the region until the 2015 crisis, when several radio and television stations were destroyed and about 100 journalists forced into exile.

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Agency
External source

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

R350 social relief grant not enough to live on

Nearly half of the population in South Africa — one of the most unequal countries in the world — is considered chronically poor.

More top stories

State to subpoena and fact-check Agrizzi’s ‘illness’ claims

The National Prosecuting Authority will conduct its own probe into Angelo Agrizzi’s claims of ill health, after he failed to attend court again

UK puts army on standby as fuel pumps run dry

Desperate motorists queued up at fuel pumps across Britain, draining tanks, fraying tempers and prompting calls for the government to use emergency powers to give priority access to healthcare and other essential workers

Tigrayans are starving to death

The famine that was feared has come to pass, and aid just isn’t getting in

How to game Twitter’s algorithm – and hoodwink journalists

It is possible to convince newsrooms looking for a topical story that something is news when it isn’t, to dangerous effect
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×