Some Congolese are reportedly expressing outrage after
learning that more than $1.3 billion have been embezzled under President Joseph
Kabila's administration. The monies were allegedly stolen or
lost in corruption and mismanagement of government agencies and state-run
businesses. President Kabila's government assured Congolese Wednesday that it
has instituted an investigation and would punish the perpetrators behind the
government adds that those found guilty will be asked to reimburse stolen money
and could face possible prison sentences. But some political observers dismissed the
government's announcement as a farce after previous investigations into various
levels of corruption within the administration was reportedly covered up. From the
capital, Kinshasa, Congolese businessman Victor Ngnezayo tells reporter Peter
Clottey that most Congolese are fed up with ongoing corruption within
"I understand there has
been $1.3 billion of embezzlement of
public funds and from public enterprises. These are major enterprises… and a
few others and these were discoveries that happened during the period probably
a couple or several years," Ngnezayo pointed out.
He said some Congolese are
skeptical about the commitment of President Kabila's government to rid state
institutions of graft.
"I think the immediate
reaction is how serious the government is taking this, and the question that is
immediately brought up is will they (government) actually apply the necessary
sanctions for the managers of these public enterprises. You are aware that so
far, there has been total lack of accountability. But if this is the beginning,
people would be grateful for it because this is the major problem, lack of
accountability in our country," he said.
Ngnezayo said most people
are doubtful of the assurances from President Kabila's government.
"They (Congolese) will only
believe it if this investigation goes as far as making the same audit in the
government, in the public enterprises at the presidential office, in parliament
and in the senate," Ngnezayo noted.
He said some people are
worried those found to have been complicit in corruption allegations would not
"That is the fear all of us
have. In the previous investigations, no real sanctions have been taken, and
our fear is that even now the public authorities could cover up," he said.
Ngnezayo said ordinary Congolese
do not feel their views matter.
"There is very little the
ordinary man on the street can do because the government doesn't serve the
people's purpose, and they are not ready to listen to the man on the street,
but the man on the street is suffering from all these. And we would like to
have a major change in the management of public funds and the management of the
natural and human resources," Ngnezayo pointed out.
Kabila's government said the investigation only covered the period in 2006 and
2007 when there was a transitional government that included former rebels, the
civilian opposition and members of civil society. The government claims that it
has opened disciplinary proceedings against 53 people believed to be
responsible for various cases of corruption.