Congo chief of staff Vital Kamerhe detained for siphoning state funds

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Vitah Kamerhe

 By RFI

Vital Kamerhe will know this Saturday April 11 if he can leave Makala prison.

The director of the cabinet of the president Tshisekedi was locked Thursday, suspected by the Congolese justice of serious faults of management and embezzlement within the framework of the “program of the 100 days”.

Vital Kamerhe is a Congolese politician who has been the chief of staff of President Félix Tshisekedi and leader of the Union for the Congolese Nation opposition party.

Victoria University

Previously he was the President of the National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 2006 to 2009.

The Kinshasa – Matete court would rule this Saturday afternoon on his provisional release or not while awaiting possible confrontations which are less and less on the agenda. 

After Vital Kamerhe’s arrest, both on the prosecution and the defense side, it was assured that he would soon be confronted by his opponents.

But ultimately Friday, the prosecutor preferred to continue the hearings.

He notably heard an official from the General Secretariat for Health on a case of purchasing pharmaceutical products.

One of the many files on which the chief of staff will have to respond.

In the meantime, he had to regularize his detention. A hearing was held in prison. His lawyer Me John Kaboto, pleads for a provisional release.

“The signs of guilt which could weigh on his person are not established. He provided many very convincing documents and we thought it was good to be granted temporary release so that Mr. Kamerhe could continue to cooperate and collaborate with the justice system.  “

For this additional hearing, Vital Kamerhe had recourse to accountants who could prove his statements.

As for the confrontations, the accusation is shrinking: they should not take place before next week.

This deadline would be, from judicial sources, to collect new depositions and documents likely to shed light on the actions of the director of the president’s cabinet.

Avoiding an “unfortunate tendency to politicize”

In addition, UDPS spokesman Paul Tshilumbu was suspended for having commented without authorization on the Kamerhe affair.

According to a statement from the presidential party published on Friday evening, instructions had been given to all of its executives not to speak to avoid, an “unfortunate tendency to politicize”.

On the antenna of RFI Friday, Paul Tshilumbu called to avoid politicizing this file and to respect the presumption of innocence of Vital Kamerhe.

In this context, the campaign “The Congo is not for sale” challenges both political and judicial authorities.

She recalls that several other scandals have tainted, including in recent months, the Congolese state.

The case of 128 million Gécamines, 15 million petroleum products to name a few during the Tshisekedi era.

But for this collective of Congolese and international NGOs, we must also look at the past, so that the millions diverted under the regime of Joseph Kabila are returned to the public treasury.

The 100-day programme was calibrated to the tune of US$304 million, with funding from the Treasury (US$200 million), the Industry Promotion Fund (US$70 million) and the Road Maintenance Fund (US$23 million).

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