Burundi’s sacked central bank governor, Dieudonné Murengerantwari, has been arrested on suspicion of money laundering and misappropriation of public assets, according to Press Published.
The Justice Ministry said that the charges against him are still provisional, pending the outcome of investigations. However, Murengerantwari has not yet responded to the allegations.
On Sunday, October 8, 2023, President Évariste Ndayishimiye sacked him and replaced him with a member of the bank’s board, Édouard Normand Bigendako, just over a year after he took up the post.
Burundi’s economy is in deep trouble with a shortage of foreign currency that has made it difficult to import goods.
In recent years, it has also been hit by a shortage of fuel from time to time and a rise in prices that has worsened the cost of living.
According to the World Bank, about 65% of the population of 12 million Burundians lives in poverty.
In a statement, the Justice Ministry accused Murengerantwari of undermining the proper functioning of the national economy through passive corruption, money laundering, and misappropriation of public assets.
It did not give further details, but Attorney General Leonard Manirakiza said that the ex-governor would remain in custody while investigations continued.
Murengerantwari was appointed to the post, which is crucial to achieving economic stability, for a period of five years, but was dismissed in his second year of office.
Before being appointed to the post of Central Bank Governor, he was the Managing Director of the country’s Development Bank.
According to the World Bank, Burundi, is one of the world’s poorest country in terms of GDP per capita, with 75% of its 12 million people living below the international poverty line.