Resumption of the trial of Vital Kamerhe in the DRC: witnesses at the bar

Vital Kamerhe managed the emergency program for the first 100 days in which there are suspicions of corruption. REUTERS / Baz Ratner

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The trial of Vital Kamerhe for embezzlement resumed on Wednesday June 3, a week after the sudden death of the judge in charge of the case, Raphael Yanyi. Vital Kamerhe and two other defendants are being prosecuted in a case of embezzlement of funds allocated to prefabricated house projects as part of Félix Tshisekedi's 100-day program. 


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With our correspondent in Kinshasa, Patient Ligodi

The third hearing in the Vital Kamerhe trial was held with a new president: Judge Pierrot Bankenge Mvita. He succeeds Raphaël Yanyi Ovungu, who died suddenly last week.

For the first time this Wednesday, the witnesses came to the stand. Justin Bitakwira, first. It was he who had signed in 2018 the initial contract with the company Samibo SARL of the Lebanese businessman Samih Jammal , who is also among the defendants. He explained that at the outset, it is a contract worth nearly $ 27 million for 900 prefabricated homes for 9 provinces across the country.

Bitakwira admitted to having signed this contract. But he explained that the government was unable to pay the first installment of the bill to Samibo SARL at the time. He added that he could not follow up on this file because he had been removed from it by Vital Kamerhe through official correspondence. “  When President Félix Tshisekedi was installed, Kamerhe had paralyzed our government. We became spectators,  "he said at the bar.

He further instructed Felix Tshisekedi's chief of staff, adding that he, Bitakwira, was not aware of the payment of $ 57 million to Samibo SARL. This amount, he said, is far from the $ 27 million of the original contract. He did not recognize the validity of the addendum to the contract which allowed this payment. 

These words were supported by the testimony of Ngongo Salumu, Acting Director General of the Directorate General of Public Procurement Control, the last witness to appear today. He also argued that this payment was made on the basis of an invalid endorsement.

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  • Ground floor
  • Justice
  • Félix Tshisekedi