DRC: announcement of the suspension of Bakwanga Mining leaders

The report of the audit mission overseen by the General Inspectorate of Finance (IGF), had been delivered directly to President Félix Tshisekedi (our photo). France24-RFI

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In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), President Félix Tshisekedi and the government announced, on Saturday May 30, 2020, the suspension of the leaders of the Minière des Bakwanga (MIBA), the industrial diamond producing company whose state is the main shareholder (80%). The sanction falls after an audit mission, the report of which dates from March 23, and which charges the two entities placed at the controls. For months, former employees and members of civil society have unsuccessfully denounced the alleged embezzlement of millions of dollars in diamonds.


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With our correspondent in the DRC, Pascal Mulegwa

The report of the audit mission overseen by the General Inspectorate of Finance (IGF), had been delivered directly to President Félix Tshisekedi. The document revealed "  significant dysfunctions  ", specifies the report of the Council of Ministers, held on Friday around the president of the DRC.

Victims  "

Suspended, the members of the board of directors consider themselves "  victims  " of Albert Kanda Kanda, the general manager of this former jewel of diamonds. Dieudonné Mbaya, chairman of the board, explains: “  There has been mismanagement and incompetence, we had already denounced it, but who will listen to us? We were appointed to help the government as shareholders to understand what is going on in the business, but when we present the situation and get hit on the fingers as if we were fishing for ourselves, it complicates things. "

"  I do not understand ," he continues, " why we liquidate the Board of Directors, yet we had notified the shareholders in time. Sinking everyone is a way of washing away the traces of the culprit  ”. The latter claims that the director enjoyed protection in Kinshasa. False, replies the director general who rejects the accusations against him. And does not hear the questioning of his honesty.

A quarrel that lasts

The quarrel at the top of the Miba has been going on for months. In October 2019, the Director General had been dismissed by the Board of Directors but the Minister for the Portfolio had opposed it. To the chagrin of civil society who hoped for prosecution.

The whistleblower, Claude Mianzuila Disimba, diamond classifier and appraiser, accused the MIBA administration of having embezzled "  millions of diamonds  " and of having maintained a clandestine network of artisanal miners, for its own account: “  There were systematic thefts of diamonds, it was a large-scale roundup. Over the period from January 2018 to February 2019, based on the documents that had been provided to me, it was a minimum shortfall of more than 10 million US dollars. The suspended committee signed MIBA,  ”he said. This expert does not wish to see the spells of the personalities involved limited to their suspension. They must, according to him, "  answer for their actions before the courts and tribunals, to dissuade those who are still hastening to come and quibble at MIBA . "

Project managers  "

MIBA, based in Mbujimayi in central DRC, has gone bankrupt due to the deterioration of its production infrastructure and mismanagement for many years. Today, she owes her agents more than 14 years of wages, according to the union, which is content to plead for the revival of the company.

After the suspension of the general management and the Board of Directors, the government intends to designate "project  managers  " in order to examine ways of rectifying the situation and the convening of a general assembly, indicates the report of the Council of Ministers.

Read also: DRC: Gécamines pinned for several not very transparent transactions

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