Since last Friday, 19 partner media including RFI and 5 NGOs have told you about the embezzlement of 138 million dollars for the benefit of former President Joseph Kabila and his inner circle. Reactions have multiplied, especially in the DRC, while internationally, only the former colonial power has reacted at the highest level.
It didn’t take long. Barely 24 hours after the first papers which shed light on this scandal which shook former President Joseph Kabila and his entourage, the DRC Minister of Justice, Rose Mutombo, reacted quickly.
She gave on Saturday – a public holiday in the DRC – ” injunction “To the Attorney General at the Court of Cassation” to open a judicial investigation “on the recent “Revelations of embezzlement of public funds involving several Congolese and international companies “. The Minister also asked him to initiate proceedings, if necessary.
« It’s normal “, Estimated Jules Alingete, the head of the services of the General Inspectorate of Finance (IGF). ” When there are such revelations, the government can only instruct the courts to initiate investigations, based on the evidence publicly available. “, He justified.
The publication of the Congo Hold-up survey seems to have come at the right time for power for President Felix Tshisekedi, who seemed to be going through a rough patch. Beginning of a protest movement against a Ceni decried by the opposition, civil society and the two main religious denominations of the country, persistent insecurity in the provinces of Ituri and North Kivu, more than six months later been placed under a state of emergency … Many on the networks believe that this scandal is ” blessed bread For Tshisekedi.
« It is astonishing that the government reacted upon the publication of the first papers in a series of papers which will continue to appear until the end of the week, and without having yet understood the ins and outs of this affair. », Reacted Jason Stearn, director of the GEC, the Study Group on the Congo and who took part in the Congo Hold-up investigation. ” I think that for once, those close to Tshisekedi are happy that the focus is not on them, but on Joseph Kabila “, he added.
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In Congo, the storm caused by the publication of the first conclusions of “Congo Hold-up” is not about to end, especially on social networks where simple anonymous and better known personalities do not sometimes hide “disgust. That this scandal inspires in them.
The Lamuka opposition coalition of Martin Fayulu and Adolphe Muzito, it had this reaction which puts back to back all its adversaries of yesterday and today: ” the DRC is a huge safe guarded by bandits ».
As for La Lucha, he has “ greeted “In a tweet,” the diligence of the government and justice for the opening of a judicial investigation against the people and entities mentioned in #CongoHoldUp ». « We will do everything as citizens so that this is not another simple announcement effect “, Promised this citizen movement well known for its commitment on the ground.
The Minister of Communication and government spokesperson wanted to be reassuring. “ When the time comes, justice will take up the case, the people who are concerned will be invited to give their information because it is necessary to differentiate between a journalistic investigation and a judicial investigation. “, He assured.
The BGFI group comes out of its silence
The BGFI had been walled in silence so far, contacted at the headquarters in Libreville, Kinshasa, Paris, wherever it could be reached, it had not wanted to follow up on the questions of the Congo Hold investigation. up.
But for nearly a week now, successive revelations have highlighted the central role played by its DRC subsidiary in the plundering of the Congolese state for the benefit of Joseph Kabila’s inner circle.
She therefore released a press release threatening to prosecute any person participating ” disclosure of confidential or private information Which concerns him, while saying “ disapprove of all questionable practices ” who have ” may have been committed in the past »Within its subsidiary in Kinshasa.
“A good thing”, considers the Belgian Prime Minister
The first senior foreign official to have reacted to the Congo Hold-up investigation according to the Belgian daily The evening dated November 19, was the Prime Minister of Belgium, the former colonial power and which has kept very close links with its former colony.
« The disclosure of this matter is a good thing “, Estimated Alexander De Croo from the publication of the first articles on this investigation, ensuring that” any form of corruption is totally unacceptable, a fortiori when it is done to the detriment of the most vulnerable as here ».
« It is in the very interest of the DRC that this matter comes to light. “, Continued the head of the Belgian government. “ This should help the current president (Félix Tshisekedi) and his government to make progress in the fight against corruption, a fight that our country supports. », He observed.
Mr. De Croo was Minister of Development Cooperation between 2014 and 2020 in Belgium, when Joseph Kabila was in his last term. His country had decided in 2018 ” to reorient “An important part of its development aid for humanitarian aid and emergency programs” in response to the worrying signals that we were increasingly receiving about the Kabila regime and in particular because of the deterioration of the political context and the breakdown of trust between the authorities and the population ».
Two years earlier, in 2016, revelations from the whistleblower, Jean-Jacques Lumumba, highlighted the questionable practices of BGFI Bank RDC, at the heart of the Congo Hold-up scandal today.