Burundi: Sacked Central Bank Chief Accused of Money Laundering, Arrested

Harare — The former governor of Burundi’s central bank was arresed on charges of embezzlement of public funds, BBC reports.

Dieudonné Murengerantwari was charged by the justice ministry with “undermining the proper functioning of the national economy, passive corruption, money laundering, and misappropriation of public assets” according to the ministry. Attorney General Leonard Manirakiza said that the former governor would stay in detention while investigations proceeded, but he did not provide any other information.

The arrest comes after Murengerantwari was fired on Sunday, October 8, by President Évariste Ndayishimiye, less than a year after he assumed the position.

The charges are “provisional” until the conclusion of the investigations, the justice ministry reportedly said.

Murengerantwari is yet to respond to the allegations.

Due to a severe lack of foreign exchange, Burundi’s economy is in severe distress, making it tough to import products. Burundi is also dealing with a fuel shortage and rising prices. An estimate of 65% of the population of 12 million live in poverty, according to the World Bank. Murengerantwari had previously served as managing director of the development bank connected to the state of Burundi.

Édouard Normand Bigendako, a board member of the bank, has taken over from him.