Congo – The DRC government might finally be able to undo some wrongdoing to its reputation as recent comments by politicians, show some positive outcomes towards the ongoing ‘Congo Holdup’ scandal.
In 2007, two Chinese companies had made big promises in return for the acquisition of a lucrative 68 percent stake in two copper and cobalt mines in the Katanga province. The two companies were supposed to help resurrect Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) infrastructure.
But not many things happened. As a result, a bigger investigation was started to see where was the money really going. What was then found out was that there was foul play at hand, by banks involved.
Emails, bank statements, contracts, bills, and corporate records made up a whooping 3.5million internal documents that were apparently leaked from within Gabon-based BGFIBank Group’s DRC subsidiary. This was done in order to investigative journals Mediapart and the Platform to Protect Whistleblowers in Africa. The partners teamed up with investigators from 18 countries, working with 19 media outlets and five non-governmental organizations to spend six months trawling through the papers.
What has come out has been a mind-boggling revelation. Since November 19, President Joseph Kabila’s huge involvement has proven embezzlement of $138m of public funds between 2013 and 2018. The allegations include the theft of funds meant for Congolese soldiers taking part in peacekeeping operations, hidden in a complex web of corruption. To top it all, his family has also been involved in this act that has put the country to shame.
Funds were allegedly siphoned into the DRC subsidiary of BGFI from the Central Bank of the Congo, via companies owned by Kabila and his network, and withdrawn as cash in numerous multi-million-dollar withdrawals. As of now, DRC’s communications minister Patrick Muyaya has reassured that a detailed investigation launched will ensure that the government “does not stay on the sidelines in the light of such allegations.
” Further, DRC’s President Felix Tshisekedi has also called for a review of the mining contracts signed with China in 2008 by Joseph Kabila. He has further said that the deals have hampered development and only a fraction of the funds promised by the Chinese for infrastructure projects 13 years ago have been delivered. Earlier this year, Tshisekedi visited the mining town of Kolwezi, where he announced his intention to renegotiate existing mining deals.