7 June 2017

Burundi: House Burglaries Cause Fear Among Bujumbura Residents

Many cases of break-in by armed bandits are increasingly reported in the capital Bujumbura. The police say investigations are ongoing to track down the criminals.

On Tuesday, 6th June at around 8a.m, armed gangsters broke into Bénigne's house in Kinindo zone, Matana Avenue. They came by a car (Probox mark) which has C2627A as a registration plate .They stole a television set. Similarly, at about 6 a.m. in Gasekebuye, another group of armed gangsters broke into the house of Dieudonné Hatungimana. They pointed the gun at all house members threatening to shoot them. They stole a laptop, credit cards, 6 cell phones, $ 1200, BIF 200,000, 2 wedding rings, 4 watches, 32-inch flat screen television and a car whose registration plate is D5753A. The police say investigations are underway to identify criminals.

Another case was observed last Monday in Mutanga-Nord. Jean Berchmans Nzopfimanibishatse (a house boy) and his friend (shopkeeper) were doing their job when five people came with guns pretending they had come to search for weapons in Gikungu II area of Gihosha zone.

He says one of gangsters had a mission to keep watch on them where they were locked up. "He immediately changed the gun. He handed the pistol to his friend to take the Kalashnikov. The other four people rushed in the rooms not search for the weapons as they said but to steal", he says.

They left with a television set, 5 mobile phones, some articles from the shop as well as money. They also stole other things that I did not know because I never enter my boss's room.

Another break-in has also been reported in a house located in NTAHANGWA commune, Gihosha zone in the district of Gikungu II, KIGIRA Avenue number 62. Five armed people broke in pretending they were searching for weapons.

"It was around 10 a.m. when five men came in a taxi. One of them pretended to buy something in a shop but I didn't have any change. When I opened the gate to look for the change, he grabbed hold of me and threatened to shoot me with a handgun in case I would scream. The four remaining others got off the car and then broke in", says the shopkeeper. "They forced us to sit down saying they were searching for weapons", he says.

Claude Niyokwizera, a neighbor, demands that security be strengthened otherwise other cases will emerge. "The same case happened to the other side not far from here. I am afraid if nothing is done to ensure security, thieves will break in again", he says.

Janvier Nkurunziza, chief of that area, says a meeting was held after the incident. "We decided to strengthen the security of our homes during the day as well as the night. Similar cases used to happen during nights over the past few months.

Because we decided to keep watching over our houses in the night, they changed their strategy. It is because the thieves know that only workers stay at home during the day", he says.

The Deputy Spokesman for Burundi National Police, Moïse Nkurunziza, says investigations are underway to identify the criminals and appeals to the population to wait for the outcome.

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