Bujumbura, 24 September, 2019 / 3:27 am (ACI Africa).
The concerns, which the Catholic Bishops of Burundi have raised regarding the general elections in their country slated to take place next year, have infuriated the government, with some high-ranking officials calling for the Bishops to be deprived of their ecclesiastical status, various international media have reported.
“Some Bishops deserve to be defrocked because it has become common at the eve of every election, they will always spit out their venom of hatred through hate messages,” the presidential spokesman in Burundi, Willy Nyamitwe Twitted, reacting to the Bishops’ message read out in Churches across the country on Sunday, September 22.
Nyamitwe, also described by Strategic Intelligence as “the most public face of the government” of Burundi, questioned the moral authority of the Catholic bishops saying, “they (Catholic Bishops) are no longer models of piety.”
In their statement, the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Burundi expressed concerns that people with differing viewpoints from those of government were targeted and persecuted, there are murders with political motives, and some political parties were suffering suffocation.
“There is a bad spirit of stifling and violating certain political parties and persecuting their members,” the Bishops stated and added, “these criminal acts are perpetrated against those who hold opinions different from those of the Government.”