Alexis Thambwe Mwamba resigns from the presidency of the Senate

Under pressure for several days and targeted by a petition signed by about sixty elected officials, the President of the Senate finally took the lead and resigned on Friday.



Alexis Thambwe Mwamba has resigned from the presidency of the Senate.


© Vincent Fournier / Jeune Afrique-REA
Alexis Thambwe Mwamba has resigned from the presidency of the Senate.

Alexis Thambwe Mwamba a donc choisi de do not go to the end of the arm wrestling. Under pressure for several days, the President of the Senate tendered his resignation on February 5, a few minutes before the start of a plenary session which was to examine the petitions calling for his dismissal and that of the other members of his office. Most of them had already submitted their resignations, further weakening the President of the Senate. Only Samy Badibanga, first vice-president and close to Félix Tshisekedi, retains his post, the petition targeting him having been rejected by elected officials.

To read DRC: close to Joseph Kabila, Alexis Thambwe Mwamba in turn threatened with dismissal

In a document addressed to the senators, in which he responds to the criticisms addressed to him, Thambwe Mwamba criticizes “the irregularity of the procedure initiated in violation of the Constitution and the internal regulations. [du Sénat] “. If he assures that “no grievance can be retained” against him, he nevertheless ends by announcing his resignation: “Considering that confidence no longer exists between a group of senators and myself and that an office of age [est] now operational, I am resigning to you as President of the Senate. “

Two months after the dismissal of the office of the National Assembly headed by Jeanine Mabunda, a week after the vote of a motion of censure against the Prime Minister, Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba, the outcome of this new showdown seemed inevitable. This resignation concludes a five-day sequence during which everything changed for the one who was one of the last pillars of the majority previously held by Joseph Kabila.

Misappropriation of public funds

For the speaker of the upper house of parliament, the trouble began on February 1. In a letter to the Congolese Senate, the Attorney General at the Court of Cassation, Victor Mumba Mukomo, had asked the office to authorize the hearing of Alexis Thambwe Mwamba on suspicion of embezzlement of public funds. In the viewfinder of justice, the withdrawal, on behalf of the Senate, of “three checks of a respective import of 2 million euros, 1 million dollars and 1 million Congolese francs”, January 6, 2021.

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According to the prosecutor, the treasurer of the Senate, who withdrew these sums from the Commercial Bank of Congo (BCDC), then handed them over to the financial advisor of the Quaestor of the Senate. “Said adviser [est parti] hand them over to the President of the Senate, Alexis Thambwe Mwamba, at his residence, hence the opening of this file, ”said Victor Mumba Mukomo’s letter.

Thambwe Mwamba was quick to retaliate. On February 2, after a tense plenary, he challenged these accusations, assuring that the funds had been reported as early as January 7, and that the money was “traceable”.

Congolese justice is not the only one to be interested in Thambwe Mwamba. In a letter sent on February 3 to the President of the Senate, the Director of the General Inspectorate of Finance, Jules Alingete Key, asked him to justify the use of 107 billion Congolese francs, made available to the Senate between January 2019 and December 2020.

The FCC denounces “dictatorial drifts”

During the plenary on February 2, a series of petitions were submitted to the Senate, demanding the dismissal of all the members of the office. In addition to the case of embezzlement of public funds, the 64 signatories criticized Thambwe Mwamba for the absence of a management report at each parliamentary session or even an expenditure of more than $ 4 million in the renovation of the Senate without the plenary was not informed.

To read Alexis Thambwe Mwamba: “In the DRC, we violate the Constitution every day”

Tabled on the day of the closing of the extraordinary session of the Senate, these petitions were, according to Thambwe Mwamba, not to be examined until March because they had not been formally placed on the agenda. Despite the protests of pro-Kabila, who denounced “dictatorial abuses” on the part of the government, the deputies proceeded on February 4 to the installation of the age office which was to lead the examination of the petitions.

After Jeanine Mabunda and Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba, Alexis Thambwe Mwamba is therefore the third key figure of the former majority of Joseph Kabila to give in to the offensive that Félix Tshisekedi is leading to regain control of the institutions. The Congolese president, accused by the pro-Kabila of having achieved his ends by violating the Constitution, now has his hands completely free to form his new government. Several relatives of the president assure that the appointment of a new prime minister should take place in the coming days.

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