January 30, 2020

Kabila’s Government Secretly Gave Service Passports to Etienne Tshisekedi’s Confidants

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Etienne Tshisekedi (L) was in opposition for DRC’s entire post-independence era. His son Felix became President from a scheme that has kept predecessor Joseph Kabila not far from power. It is now emerging Tshisekedi senior was actually in some relationship with Kabila

The late father of DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi lived a double life as a fierce government critic, at the same time enjoying benefits from the same government.

The latest revelations are emerging after Augustin Kabuya, secretary-general of UDPS, the opposition party that Etienne Tshisekedi led for decades until his death, accused ex-president Joseph Kabila’s coalition of deliberately undermining President Felix Tshisekedi.

UDPS is part of Felix’s coalition CACH, which has power-sharing deal with Kabila’s coalition FCC following contested elections. However, since this year began, President Tshisekedi is embroiled in a public war of words with Parliament’s speaker Jeanine Mabunda, a Kabila loyalist.

President Tshisekedi has also threatened to dissolve parliament, a move Kabila’s loyalists are not taking lightly.

It is within this fight over who is in charge that UDPS secretary-general Kabuya came out guns blazing in a speech at a rally in Kinshasa this past Saturday. He said UDPS will not be blackmailed by the FCC people and will do everything to protect Felix Tshisekedi.

Calling parliament speaker Jeanine Mabunda as “a mama”, he said she claims to be a trained lawyer but doesn’t understand elementary law principals.

Kabuya has also alleged that powerful Kabila loyalists have been trailing President Tshisekedi wherever he goes to sabotage his visits. Among those cited is Kalev Mutondo, former head of DRC intelligence agency ANR under Kabila, accused of owning a diplomatic passport and using it for that purpose.

UDPS secretary-general Kabuya’s noisy outburst has provoked an unexpected revelation from Kabila’s camp. Mutondo released a long statement on Tuesday in which he revealed that if UDPS is concerned about him owning diplomatic passport, it should also tell the Congolese people about party officials who were given DRC service passports during Kabila’s time.

Service passports are used by government officials, different from ordinary and diplomatic passports.

Mutondo says UDPS officials were given those passports by ANR which allowed them to travel anywhere, yet they were members of UDPS that was at the same time denouncing Kabila’s government.

The revelation by Mutondo has opened a Can of political worms that are going to dominate the media and political debate for some days and weeks. UDPS will of course attemp to dismiss the revelation.

Mutondo has also threatened to put out more UDPS secrets.

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