A member of the ruling CND_FDD inner circle, says it was President Pierre Nkurunziza who ordered the assassination of his military aide, Lieutenant General Adolphe Nshimirimana.
Every Saturday night as is the custom, Nkurunziza meets members of the military oligarchy that runs Burundi at the presidential palace.
One Saturday in July 2015, misunderstandings between the CND/FDD members on issues of governance and policy arose in such a meeting.
The special session as usual was chaired by Nkurunziza.
Present were: Nkurunziza, Gen. Bunyoni, Gen Niyongabo Prime, Gen. Kazungu, Willy Nyamitwe (the presidential spokesman) and Gen. Adolphe.
Adolphe despises Nkurunziza, slaps a General
According to a tape recorded in Kirundi language and publicised by Habineza Christian (a budding politician?), during that particular meeting, Gen Adolf reportedly despised Nkurunziza.
He also lost control of his emotions and slapped Gen Nyangabo.
The tensions arose after Adolphe openly opposed the joining of the national assembly/parliament by Agathon Rwasa, a member of the opposition.
After losing the botched July presidential elections, Nkurunziza had his most powerful rival, Rwasa voted to the position of deputy speaker in parliament.
Yet Adolphe was pushing for his wife, Benigne Rurahinda, (also a member of parliament) to become the president of the National Assembly.
This development apparently sparked a fight between the two generals (Nyangabo and Adolphe) leading to the slapping of the former.
Confident Benigne was even caught on video mocking Rwasa in parliament before she lost the Speakership to him.
Follow the recording (its in Kirundi): https://m.soundcloud.com/habineza-christian/g-n-ral-adolphe-nshimirimana
Some army chiefs including Gen Ndakugarika proposed that the eldest son of the president takes power after him yet Adolphe wanted his wife (if given speakership) to succeed Nkurunziza after his term.
Saturday August 1, 2015
On 01 August the ruling party held another meeting at Nkurunziza home in Kariri.
Adolphe came with a list of people that he wanted to be included in the government as ministers.
His proposal was thrown out.
It is said Gen. Nyangabo asked Adolphe: “What authority do you have to produce a list of cabinet?”
Adolphe shot back telling his colleague to shut up.
Another (unnamed general) asked Adolphe: “Who are you”.
The chief of staff and head of secret intelligence services pulled out his pistol and shot him dead.
That is when the struggle started.
Nkurunziza orders Adolphe’s summary execution
It is at this time when Adolphe was over powered by other generals and disarmed, the president devised a quick solution.
Nkurunziza, according to the tape, personally authorized Adolphe’s summary execution.
The tape says they took him out of the house and shot him dead.
He was killed by one bullet shot at his forehead.
So, he was killed during the early hours of 1 August 2015 although the report came out the next day Sunday August 2.
After his death, then an assassination plot was cooked up.
Adolphe was killed by a single bullet because his body allegedly had no wound anywhere else.
The Presidential guards placed the body in car and drove near his home at Kamenge where they hit it with rocket.
Many policemen were executed to confuse the public basing on the longlist of those Adolphe wanted killed.
The Kamenge, Ngagara staged scene
Ngagara military camp in Kamenge where the general was allegedly shot with a rocket launcher is commandeered by the presidential guards.
Ngagara military camp is located in North Bujumbura.
Adolphe’s bodyguards did not know he was dead, they had been told by Nkurunziza’s palace guards that he was drunk as usual and asleep.
The RFI and AFP correspondent, Esdras Ndikumana, who arrived on scene first in Kamenge was arrested and taken to the national documentation where he underwent severe torture.
They thought the journalist had inside information related to his death.
Lt. Col. Ndenzako, commander of Ngagara military camp was also disarmed and kidnapped after the assassination.
Burundi’s investigative website Iwacu tells an version:
It says Adolphe was travelling in a Hilux pickup truck and was intercepted at junction of the RN1, Boulevard du 28 November and Mwambutsa Avenue
A policeman named Sanford was driving with four other cops behind when six soldiers on board cut them off.
Iwacu notes that the assassins wore thick glasses like those worn by the presidential guard; some had rockets, other machine guns.
Suddenly, they fired the first rocket that missed the target and then launched the assault of machinegun fire.
He was killed together with the driver, two of his guards leaving three others seriously injured.
Witnesses told Iwacu people dressed like soldiers of the presidential guard were stationed near the northern entrance to the Roi Khaled Hospital at around 6:00am while the murder took place at around 8:00am.
The shooting lasted about five minutes.
Motivation for his killing
According to the tape by an insider, there was also another conflict between those opposed to and pro-FDLR rebels in Burundi.
There was also rumours that Adolphe wanted to cease power.
The conspiracy to kill him was hacked few days back and he was aware of such a conspiracy but he didn’t know when.
The tape featuring a veteran who brought Nkurunziza to power says Adolpe was becoming a disturbing character to the party day by day.
He was untouchable and they felt that he was about overthrow Nkrunziza by force.
The conflict between pro and against FDLR still ranges.
Nkurunziza and his group still live in fear and spend sleepless nights planning.
It says their objectives as freedom fighters were not achieved because the government fell in hands of individuals and criminals
The recording urges Burundian to remember that their killers are not Rwandans or Somalis as claimed but those who hunt them down every day like animals.
So far, 70 soldiers were killed in Adolphe’s opposition to giving posts to those who didn’t go to the bush but the government didn’t mention it.
Lieutenant General Adolphe Nshimirimana was born in Gishubi town of Gitega province in 1964 Simon Ndabakenga and some Theresa.
During the events of 1972, his family fled to Rwanda and moved to Kigali in Muhima.
He attended elementary school there and made the secondary technical school in Gikondo free until 1986.
After graduation, he went to the DRC in Zaire time for military training.
In 1993, Adolphe Nshimirimana returns home with the election of President Melchior Ndadaye and lives in Kamenge district Kavumu at 4th Avenue.
He held the post of information officer to the national documentation.
In the aftermath of the assassination of President Melchior Ndadaye, he joined Pascal Gashirabake says Savimbi, Adalbert Ntawuyamara alias Dede, from Ntirampeba and a Gangi.
It is this core of five persons who organized the resistance in Kamenge.
During the civil war, Adolphe moved up the ranks of the military command of the rebellion and became Chief of Staff of the FDD (Forces for the Defence of Democracy).
On their return in 2003, pending the integration, his battalion, that of the General Staff of the rebellion, moved to the Gikizi Kamenge district.
In the process, he was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff of the Burundian army.
Adolphe then headed the National Intelligence Service (SNR), a position he held for ten years.