“I am leaving the Government with the conviction that my action within the Ministry of Justice has brought a stone to the edifice of the consolidation of the rule of law in the DRC,” said Célestin Tunda ya Kasende, after having deposited his resignation as Deputy Prime Minister, Minister in charge of Justice and Keeper of the Seals, Saturday July 11, 2020, with the Head of Government, Ilunga Ilunkamba. He leaves the ship, of course, but leaves on the bulletin board a good number of actions initiated and undertaken within the framework of the reform of the justice sector and countless projects going in the direction of further improving the functioning of the Congolese judicial system.
From the fight against corruption to the establishment of the rule of law, notably through depoliticization and the independence of the justice system as well as cybercrime, Tunda ya Kasende marked a big step the mission entrusted to it and which, one hopes, will be continued by his successor.
As soon as he took office on Monday, September 9, 2019, the very first Minister of Justice under the Tshisekedi era had affirmed his determination to work for the emergence of real local justice in the DRC. At the same time, he declared war on what he called justice-commerce, justice in the service of the rich and at the expense of the poor.
Indeed, the vision of the head of state Félix Tshisekedi on the fight against corruption had a favorable response both within the Government and in the Congolese judiciary.
The corrupters and the corrupt mainly found in the public establishments and institutions of the country are now facing a new wind.
The challenge of corruption
Having made the fight against corruption one of its biggest projects at the head of the Ministry of Justice, Célestin Tunda had recently assured by a press voice, that the Congolese state has recovered 35 million + 2.5 million dollars, reimbursed in the treasury through the action of Justice.
However, in order to better fight corruption in the DRC, Tunda ya Kasende had really set to work for the materialisation of important reforms in the justice sector, the anti-corruption brigade and to set up, at the like France, a financial prosecutor’s office as a court which will, among other tasks, deal with complex cases concerning anti-corruption offenses, embezzlement of public funds, money laundering, large-scale fraud and many other financial crimes.
In Abu-Dhabi where he represented the DRC, Me Célestin Tunda had revealed the wish of the Head of State, Félix Tshisekedi, concerning in particular the establishment of new mechanisms and means more adapted to the mutation of the phenomenon of corruption with more aggressive sanctions.
In addition, during his time in the Government, we were entertained to justice characterised by hearings, detentions and convictions in particular, those of Vital Kamerhe, Director of Cabinet of the Head of State, and from Fulgence Lobota Bamaros, the Managing Director of FONER. Célestin Tunda ya Kasende then mentioned his stone which he is bringing to the building for the reconstruction of reliable justice in the DRC, a justice that would not sink into any discrimination whatsoever.
As for this case opposing Vital Kamerhe to a series of Heads of entities, both public and private, the VPM took care that politicization was not there so as not to subjectively influence the course of investigations until trial which resulted in judgment.
With regard to the covid-19 pandemic, Tunda has striven to put in place measures to prevent and combat this epidemic in prisons and prisons. Since justice is about respecting human dignity, it is important that the prison population be protected against the scourge of the coronavirus pandemic.
This has led to the release of several residents of Makala central prison, which to date has been alarmingly overwhelmed with the number of detainees compared to its initial capacity. Decongestion of several prisons in the country had therefore been initiated, so that they reached an acceptable standard level for placing prisoners.
Faced with the multiple demands of the Congolese magistrates, Célestin Tunda has once again taken steps to find suitable solutions for improving the living and working conditions of the body of the judiciary.
During the Guéguerres in provincial institutions, Tunda ya Kasende was good at maneuvering.
At the Ministry of Justice, it was also a war started against the anti-analogues related to cybercrime.
Far from having fully accomplished the task assigned to him, but also far from the political debates surrounding his resignation, Célestin Tunda goes off with his head high and with the idea of having given impetus to the sector which was his.