It is a rebounding trial that opens today at the TGI of Kinshasa / Gombe. Indeed, after the first stage of the investigation of the Vital Kamerhe case against the Republic, now let’s get down to business. If, in this first phase, the Public Prosecutor had sufficient time and arguments, the defense, for its part, documented itself at the same time as it is preparing to expand further on the form, before to get into the bottom. Sources close to the defendant, we learn that elements gathered reveal the complete opposite of the accusations which contributed to the arrest, since April 8, 2020, of the Director of Cabinet and, moreover, historic ally of Félix Tshisekedi , the current President of the Republic, in the “Cape for Change” coalition.
First, sources close to the defense of Vital Kamerhe point out, “contrary to the accusations of the Public Prosecutor who spoke of a disbursement of 47 Million USD” in the file concerning the construction of prefabricated houses, this order placed with the company SAMIBO would rather be valued at US $ 57 million of which the Government would have paid only a deposit of US $ 2,137,500. The doubtful precedents on the fictitious nature of the Samibo Society on which the same Public Prosecutor would have based his accusation, fall, rather, the responsibility of the former government which, in its time, could not conclude a deal of such a far-reaching, without first carrying out all the necessary checks, including the corporate object of the contracting party.
SAMIBO, according to Kamerhe’s defense, is not fictitious. It had, however, signed the first private contract for the construction of 900 houses with the Democratic Republic of Congo in April 2018. Then, an Amendment to this contract in 2019, to go from 900 to 1,500 houses. All these contracts, through the Ministry of Rural Development, were contracted by the previous government.
However, the second order from the Republic placed following the promise made by the President of the Republic, to improve the living conditions of the Military and Police, concerns 3,000 houses.
The other charge which would weigh on Vital Kamerhe is that relating to the contracting of an over-the-counter contract with the TRADE PLUS company specialized in hardware when it had to buy medicines. According to the prosecution, this company is not only not specialized in pharmaceutical products, but also received US $ 10 million for the supply of medicines which, oddly enough, were out of date and unfit for consumption.
In reality, says circles close to VK, the order from the company TRADE PLUS was placed by the Ministry of Health for an amount of 5,354,134.75 US dollars instead of 10,000,000 US dollars, as declared by the Public Prosecutor.
What is more, the notarial statutes of TRADE PLUS, it is argued, bear witness to the fact that it is a company which indeed has the social purpose, among others, of Pharmacy.
Also, all the drugs ordered by the Ministry of Health have been delivered and received by the said Ministry. It has also been shown that only a few items contained in 2 out of 12 containers delivered approached the expiration date.
This is why, they were replaced urgently at the request of the Minister of Health, after the quality control carried out by the competent services of his sector.
To date, it should be noted that the Ministry of Health had already distributed these drugs. This is proof, if necessary, that they have been validated, according to the defendant.
Surprise at the meeting
These revelations which would no doubt change the order of the trial scheduled for Monday 11 May at the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Kinshasa / Gombe, indicate, for the defense and the militants of the UNC, that the arrest of the Director of the President’s Office of the Republic would be arbitrary.
The surprise therefore remains. Because, this trial with multiple stakes, with regard to this new counter-attack which begins today, may well take other turns.
Certainly, all citizens are equal before the law. But, all citizens have the right to equal protection of this same law. That is why, therefore, they demand a fair trial. Because, for them, if the law, nothing but the law is real said, Kamerhe, after more than a month of detention in Makala, would go straight to an acquittal.
Finally, they appeal to the responsibility of the judges so that they can do their work, in complete freedom and so that they can make an informed decision. Congolese justice, whose coat of arms has been tarnished for a long time, will find its true marks, no matter how long it takes, in the era of democratic change.
On January 24, 2019 in Kinshasa, at the Palais de la Nation, the DRC sees, for the first time in its history, an outgoing president and an incoming president pass the torch. A new era is declared. Félix Tshisekedi, in his speech to the nation, then undertook to restore the Congo, by fighting corruption, the main scourge that plagues the country. On January 25, 2019, Tshisekedi officially takes office. On the same day, Vital Kamerhe also took up his post as chief of staff to the Head of State. In the evening, a press release was issued, signed by the new head of the President’s cabinet, on the orders of Tshisekedi. All expenses are suspended and should receive approval from the Congolese Presidency, he said.
The following days, discussions around the formation of the government got bogged down. That’s when Vital Kamerhe, his relatives say, will propose a 100-day plan to the President. It is an emergency program, valued at more than US $ 400 million, which aims to launch major works, pending the arrival of a government. Thus, on March 2, 2019, President Félix Tshisekedi moved the political gotha to the sumptuous Exchanger of Limete. Under this symbol of the illusory pretensions of the Mobutu regime, Félix Tshisekedi displays his ambitions.
In short, the new president aims above all to “impact” the spirits. The program does not seek that much to resolve priority problems. No, he wants to mount this new disputed Head of State, some of whom doubt the legitimacy, including power, in the process of “doing something”
Presentation of the Emergency Program for the first 100 days of the President of the Republic H.E. Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi.
The Head of State unveils his program focused on Security, justice, infrastructure and communication channels, education, relaxation.
On the other side of the city, in May 2019, the Chinese company CREC 8 began construction of a grade separation at the Pompage roundabout, west of Kinshasa. These works, it is said, consist of the construction of a viaduct to ensure the diffusion of traffic in five directions, towards Mbudi, Brikin, Maman Yemo, Nzolantima and Saint Mukassa, in order to eliminate the traffic jams often observed in rush hour in this part of the capital.
Show Tshisekedi that you’re working
On the spot, the Chinese open the way for the Office of Highways and Drainage (OVD) to which the government entrusts the supervision of nine works to be built. There are plans to build “sanitation works on the Brikin pumping axis through the CARRIGRES sandstone quarry almost complete”, the OVD. “The OVD will build different layers of the roadway from the week of May 05,” it was announced. But, this place and its work will remain the symbol of a scourge that will soon befall Kinshasa.
Days pass and the Congolese capital is plunged into a veritable anarchy of traffic. On the sites where these works are under construction, columns of vehicles poison traffic, in a city of around 12 million inhabitants, and where driving while driving is already a real test. Heaps of metal sheets surround the construction sites, hiding the evolution, creating more and more frustration of the population who sees nothing progress.
In July, the Congolese Presidency gets angry. “The leap-crossings to free Kinshasa from its endless traffic jams have become a nightmare for drivers in Kinshasa. What is going on ? The president [Félix Tshisekedi] is going to go to the various sites…. Where nothing is done, the blue sheets will be dismantled. The sites, reopened to traffic and the management of the works will go to the cashier, reimburse the money collected “, vociferates Kasongo Mwema Yamba Yamba, the spokesperson for President Félix Tshisekedi.
Accompanied by Vital Kamerhe, his cabinet director who is very present on this project, Félix Tshisekedi descends on the ground on July 17, 2019. He begins his tour with the symbolic Pompage site, in the municipality of Ngaliema. He will also visit that of “Socimat” at the gates of the Gombe, connecting the very posh commune of Ngaliema to downtown Kinshasa. Here, the president notes “a slowness”. But, far from the proclamations of his spokesman, the Head of State will end his visit with a smile. Nothing is done then, the works, it is said, are going well overall.
But there. The days are advancing and blue sheets, which encircle entire sites on increasingly impracticable streets of Kinshasa, still do not arise the famous “leapfrogs”. The symbol of “Pumping” even announces an inauguration in November 2019. Nothing is done.
Worse, in December, Félix Tshisekedi met the adventure of his life there. This Monday, the Congolese Head of State begins his day by launching the inauguration of a decimated pavilion, 5 months ago and currently rehabilitated, of the Ngaliema clinic, in the commune of Gombe. He will then lay the foundation stone for the construction of the industrial drinking water treatment complex in the Ozone district, in the commune of Ngaliema. The highlight of the show, according to the Presidency, is that the president will inaugurate the pumpkin leap.
Only, that day, patatras. While the red carpet and the din that goes with it invaded the surroundings of the “Pom-mutton”, President Félix Tshisekedi will be absent. The inauguration does not take place. No official explanation is provided immediately. But, the observation on the spot speaks volumes: Tshisekedi almost inaugurated an unfinished work.
The work, “which is almost ready,” still needed some adjustments, including the construction of adjacent tracks. The latter were to allow vehicles and other users to circulate normally below the grade separation to reach the other arteries, making it possible to solve the problem of traffic jams at this level, the object of the work. If these routes were not yet all ready until Monday, December 23, 2019, there are especially the parking lots that have not been developed, and tons of rubbish stored at the foot and in the bottom sides of the viaduct.
The controversy breaks out. So are the rumors. If the presidency remains silent, Benjamin Wenga Basubi, Director of the OVD, is announced at arrest, before being released and confirming the progress of the work, without explaining the failure. The inter-union of the OVD is stepping up on the airwaves of Radio Top Congo FM: “We ask the president, head of state, who has always listened to the Base, but also the other social components to deign to receive this work and to be able to inaugurate it before New Year’s Eve to alleviate the suffering of the inhabitants of Kimbwala, Malueka, Mbudi, CPA, Kinsuka, Don Bosco, Lutendele and Pompage “. A new promise that will not be respected.
In 2020, anger rises at the wheel. The people of Kinshasa can’t take it anymore. The serious and tense economic situation encountered the suffering of traffic jams, causing Félix Tshisekedi’s popularity to drop. But, the President is concentrated in his international tour, or a strange verbal jousting with his Kabilist allies.
Strangely enough, it’s his chief of staff, Vital Kamerhe, who is stepping up this time. The man presents a flattering assessment, on the occasion of the Year 1 of the power of president Félix Tshisekedi. Vital Kamerhe drops a bomb. First, he announces that the “companies carrying out the work are suffocated”.
It is slowing the Congolese internet. And the President’s stoic right arm still ventures to announce a date for the famous inauguration for January 30, 2020.
The devil is in the details
The god of the dates not being Congolese, even less Tshisekediste, on January 30, the site “Pumping” is again dried by the president Félix Tshisekedi. As before, the Head of State is still right. The work has nothing to do with the models sold.
Vital Kamerhe finds himself with a rope around his neck. The president’s chief of staff had dared to announce that the works as a whole had reached 70% completion rate. Finance Minister Sele Yalaghuli, from Kabila camp, the guillotine. The national banker announces that these works, which certainly received a much higher disbursement, are “below 50%” of execution.
In the aftermath of the “Pumping” fiasco, recoveries and controversies, the OVD released the details. In a table distributed to the press, the state-owned company in charge of the work gives details to make matters clear. Hold. The “grade separation” works are valued at USD 45.5 million.
At this point, the government has made cumulative payments around US $ 21.2 million, nearly 46% of the disbursement rate. The work, estimates this document from the OVD, is 41% completed. In detail, of the nine grade separations, two remain symbolic: they received a payment of 40%, but have an execution rate of 0%.
According to sources, the OVD informed us that the payment was used to purchase the building materials. “At this point, we still have the equipment for these two grade separations. But, there is a lack of resources to start the works, “explains an official of the state company.
The same situation is observed everywhere. Jean-Marc Kabund, president of the UDPS, initiates a tour on Friday February 6, 2020 morning to find out more. In the east of the city, where construction is stagnating the most, construction sites are at a standstill. Here, in a book entrusted to the company SAFRICAS, the staff has been on leave since January 27, 2020 for “logistical constraints”. According to several sources, providers lack the cash to continue the work.
The chaos will push President Félix Tshisekedi to react, seizing the Congolese justice and even asking for an audit. To be continued at the next Act.
Meanwhile,a young activist from the Union for the Congolese Nation (UNC ), Dieu-Merci Kyalondawa sacrificed himself, Monday, May 11, 2020, at Muzihirwa square not far from the provincial headquarters of the party dear to the Director of Cabinet of the Chief of the ‘State in Ibanda commune. This was to demand Vital Kamerhe’s release!
According to eyewitnesses to the event, the young man over 25 years old, set fire to his clothes after getting sprayed with petrol.
The boy did so with a UNC flag in his hand to demand the release of vital Kamerhe.