DR Congo:Katumbi’s Trial ,When Politics Drives Prosecution

Perhaps the biggest wrong step of Mr Joseph Kabila ‘s ruling Party at the inception of the present administration was its seeming inability to appreciate the dynamism of the constitutional provisions guiding separation of powers among the three arms of the government.

Namely the executive, the legislature and the judiciary under a democratic system.

With the high hopes of Congolese in December 2016 that the General elections will be held without Mr Kabila and a new government formed.

A new President would have taken our democracy to the next level with improvement in its practice, as being done in the advanced countries, Mr Kabila painfully took off with unprecedented animosity against some individuals in its fold on parochial issues that ordinarily; would have been resolved at the party level, and thus, prevented such animosity from snowballing into crisis or getting out of its control.

Aggression and Killings rather than love, became the order of the day and were freely transferred in various forms and ways against individuals whose interest the powers that be in the party felt run into conflict with that of the party or other individuals.

Little wonder therefore, when Katanga Governor Moise Katumbi,Now a former governor of the Rich Katanga Province Opposed Kabila intentions of standing for a 3rd term in office, all hell went loose.

Katumbi, with a burning desire to see democracy progressing in the vast Central African Nation, with his political experience acquired over the years as a former governor and chairman of the Mighty TP Mazembe FC ,coupled with his family’s background in business to bear, building connections across the political parties in order to make it to the Governorate and also to make the province a united family under his leadership.

His efforts paid off , an unprecedented show of popularity and acceptability of the man has been mind blowing ,he was returned un-opposed in an overwhelming vote as Governor.

However, the joy and message brought about by Katumbi gradually over coming partisanship and sentiment in the running of government was has been long lived. Some individuals in the executive arm parading themselves as “Kitchen Cabinet Caucus” came up with deep animosity and declared a total war against Katumbi and his supporters.

Conspiracy against Katumbi’s group became the order of the day and institutions, especially the Judicial organ of the DRC, readily became a willing tool in the hands of the aggrieved Joseph Kabila and other politicians for use to settle scores with the perceived enemies.

It must be pointed out here, that ordinarily the main statutory function of Judiciary is to fight economic, financial ,Human rights and Petty crimes but in the bid to get at enemies, the scope of function was unlawfully expanded to include the fight against false declaration of assets which by constitution, is the prerogative of the Code of Conduct in Civil matters.

Now Katumbi in self inflicted exile ,The target is to declare him in the Court of law , a Criminal and thereby sentence him for a longer time in jail and removing him as a Presidential Candidate.

But for the maturity and emotional stability of the Tribunal and his colleague in the panel, one, Judge Jacques Mbuyi who resisted external pressure and influence to do the unlawful, Was attacked and shot at 8 times the night before the court proceedings in Lubumbashi on the 19th July 2017.

As it is often said in the legal parlance and in law courts, no one no matter how powerful can put something on nothing and expected the something to stand!

Though the final judgment is set for today 20th July 2017 , The DRC will be expecting phantom charges and sentencing. a careful perusal of the proceedings at the tribunal from the beginning till now, will not make it difficult for one to hold that the rule of law will indeed play itself out and the dark hand of Mr Joseph Kablia has played its role.

From whatever angle one looks at the trial, it is certainly and clearly a vendetta and product of anger that follows Moise Katumbi.

Therefore, for our democracy to survive and flourish, it will not be out of place to plead with the tribunal to look at issues objectively and do substantial justice to the matter in the interest of the larger society.

It must be clearly stated here, that this trial is definitely a product of anger taken to the extreme and based on nothing and as such should not be allowed to stand in the face of the law and in the interest of the rule of law.
Though the chairman of the tribunal may be a staff of the presidency, but having taken oath of office to be unbiased and impartial Minister in the temple of Justice, he or She is expected to do nothing but justice to the issue rather than allowing any unfounded allegations to be used to rubbish any innocent person in the name of playing politics.

By Sylvestre Mukeba

Mr Mukeba is a Human Rights and Political activist from the DRC Based in London ,UK.
All contents of this editorial are Author’s own.


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