Is the presidential claim of corruption in the DRC a ‘settling of scores’?

June 30, 2015 OPINION/NEWS

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By

Darell Maurice

Voices have been raised in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Parliament following an accusation by President Joseph Kabila of corruption against Moses Katumbi, Governor of the nation’s Katanga province.

Jean-Claude Mvuemba, MP of opposition party MPCR (Congolese People’s Movement for the Republic), believes that “it may well be a ‘settling of scores'” between the two.

Agence France-Presse, on having access to the statement, have confirmed that Luzolo Bambi Lessa, Special Adviser to the Head of State, Joseph Kabila, in the fight against corruption, drafted the complaint which detailed money laundering and terrorism, citing Moses Katumbi alongside three other governors, a former chief of staff to the President and sixteen other people involved.

“If it is true that those names are listed in the complaint, I would like to see a list of hundreds of others because the DRC is the 154th country on the list of corruption indices of Transparency International” MP Jean-Claude Mvuemba stated.

The member also emphasised the contrast with the fact that Moses Katumbi has always been acclaimed as the best governor by the ruling majority, the PPRD (Party for Reconstruction and Democracy) and even by President Joseph Kabila himself.

Mr Mvuemba recalled that the figures cited by the press as being named in the complaint boxes are purveyors of the same political party of Joseph Kabila.

Moses Katumbi, a popular and wealthy businessman and owner of TP Mazembe, the country’s most successful football club, is a member of President Kabila’s political party. In December he publicly denounced the attempts of President Kabila to run for a third term, despite the fact the Constitution prohibits it, “A third false penalty” the term he used in a rally condemning this.

Shortly after Katumbi’s denunciation, the government and security services conducted a raid in the province where officials and customs services were suspended, arrested and placed under investigation.

Mr Katumbi has taken no action thus far regarding his own candidacy as president but is seen by many as a possible successor to Kabila, in power since 2001, this also seen as an attempt to dismiss Katumbi in next year’s Presidential election.

 

 

 

 

 

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Darell Maurice

Darell Maurice is a Journalist based in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital city Kinshasa and works for Canal7kintv. He also blogs here.

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