Burundi’s ruling party has denied it has elevated its leader, President Pierre Nkurunziza, to “Eternal Supreme Guide” – saying it had only bestowed the title “visionary” on the politician.
The party said the confusion was down to a mis-translation of the Kirundi phrase “Imboneza yamaho”.
During a press conference on Tuesday, the party’s secretary general Evariste Ndayishimiye explained that they regarded Mr Nkurunziza as a visionary after reviewing what he had achieved “against the odds”, according to our BBC reporter.
Mr Ndayishimiye also revealed the party was asking its members to devote Thursdays for God, prayer and fasting”, according to the news agency AFP.
The move, he said, was inspired by evangelical Christian Mr Nkurunziza, who already dedicates his Thursdays to such matters.
“The whole party is obliged to follow him,” Mr Ndaysihimiye said.
The demand will do little to assuage fears Mr Nkurnziza, a former rebel leader who plunged the country into violence after refusing to step down in 2015, is forming a cult of personality around himself.