Burundi’s former PM loses appeal, life sentence upheld

Burundi’s Supreme Court upheld the life sentence for former Prime Minister Alain-Guillaume Bunyoni on Thursday.

Bunyoni, once a powerful figure in the government, served as Prime Minister from 2020 to 2022. 

He was accused of threatening the president, undermining national security, and economic destabilization.

Bunyoni was initially sentenced in December 2023. The charges included using witchcraft to threaten President Ndayishimiye. 

He pleaded not guilty on all counts. 

The Supreme Court, presided by Emmanuel Gateretse, upheld the original sentence and added a hefty fine of $7.8 million and confiscation of undeclared assets.

Bunyoni has the right to file a further appeal within the Supreme Court system. 

Legal experts believe this might be his last chance to challenge the verdict.

President Ndayishimiye, who took office in June 2020, initially received praise for improving Burundi’s international standing after a period of isolation under the previous regime. 

However, human rights concerns remain unaddressed, and Burundi continues to struggle with poverty.

Scroll to Top