A popular Burundi comedian Alfred Aubin Mugenzi, known as Kigingi, has been arrested for making fun of President Pierre Nkurunziza.
The comedian’s family said he was arrested on Tuesday evening at a hotel in Muramvya, about 50 kilometres (31 miles) east of the capital, Bujumbura, while on a promotional tour for a beer company by Burundi’s Intelligence Service
The comedian, who is also a Buja FM radio host, was being held in the intelligence service’s “dungeons” in Bujumbura, and “no-one has been allowed to see him”, a relative said.
Intelligence officers told the relative that Mugenzi was arrested “for contempt of the head of state” after a skit he performed in neighbouring Rwanda last year, in which he ridiculed football-mad Nkurunziza, showing him refusing to leave the pitch despite receiving two yellow cards.
The president who contested for and won a third term in elections last year despite viloent protests by citizens is the player-owner of Hallelujah FC where he is frequently top goal-scorer.