That the man gets to duplicate a government office and safety commission for exports of minerals from South Kivu. Abbas Kayonga was able for years to duplicate and double commission for checking and securing exports of minerals between South Kivu and Rwanda. Clearly, he was wise enough and used his connection within the local government of South Kivu. But, they must have been tired off it and also the tricks that has been done. As some has been caught by his duplicated commission like in 2015 and others has worked together with him.
Kayonga, must have had connections with the miners and the mineral extraction industry, which means they were able to work with him and also make the documentation legalized through his duplicated operation. That must have been the reason of the colonel Kayonga rise to fortune and possible collections of weapons, as he could have a stand-off with the army after desisting to stand down from his commission. Something he didn’t want to do. But first some context, before what happen today in Bukavu, as he wouldn’t accept, because it has been his racket for years. Take a look!
South Kivu export of Minerals to Rwanda:
“The situation in South Kivu is a little more difficult because of the confusion between the
commission against mining fraud, the SPC / South Kivu and the cell fight against mining fraud in
South Kivu led by Mr. ABBAS KAYONGA” (…) “ In Bukavu
information report that the head of the fight against mining fraud cell itself would be involved in
facilitating the smuggling of minerals to Rwanda. 3 main reasons seem to confirm this:
1. The people worked with the RCD (Congolese Rally for Democracy);
2. She lived in Rwanda for several years after reunification;
3. The creation of an anti-cell against mining fraud by the Governor of South Kivu parallel to
the national commission against mining fraud that has a focal point in South Kivu. To understand how the smuggling of minerals between the DRC and Rwanda was being harvested reliable data on the operation of networks operating in the minerals transit areas in Rwanda to Kigali Gisenyi, Kibuye and Shangugu” (SAM-PPA, 2015).
“The technical unit in charge of the field operations of the South Kivu mining commission, Kayonga Abbas, seized 60 tons of cassiterite, coltan and olfram in 2015. It handed over these minerals to the Police of the Mines. Their owners paid the public treasury a sum of 33,380 dollars to recover their parcel. Kayonga Abbas laments the involvement of some military officers in mining fraud” (Nyota, 2016).
“The Civil Society Coordination Office of South Kivu is delighted by the dismissal of Mr Abbas Kayonga from the Anti-Fraud Unit in South Kivu. Yesterday Wednesday night evening of the dead city around 19h, he would have been surprised to cross in Rwanda, a large shipment of tourmaline. He would have resisted the agents of the DGDA to the point of trying to come to arms. Fortunately he has been mastered. It is a sigh of relief for the population and especially the traders of South Kivu who were hunted down by the latter with imposition doublet, “says the message of Patient Bashombe” (…) “Remember that the anti-fraud cell of the province was a pure duplication of the DPMER. Thing that the civil society through the FEC have always lambasted. Despite the length of the night, the sun finally appears. Beware of all accomplices of fraud, embezzlement, corruption, … and other antivaleurs in the DRC, and particularly in South Kivu. These suicidal practices only accentuate the suffering of the people. The watchful eye of civil society is open and active. Here the opportunity to draw the attention of Governor Claude Nyamugabo to put order in the mining sector. There is food and drink, “says Patient Bashombe” (Lubambo, 2017)
“According to security officials, the police officers were deployed to the home of the head of the Anti-Fraud Service which had been suspended on 2 November by Governor Claude Nyamugabo for harassment. This official, prosecuted official sources, is being guarded by armed men who are known neither of the Army nor the Police. The same sources reveal that there would be a cache of weapons at his home in Muhumba” (Radio Okapi, 2017).
“Reports indicate that gun battle broke out following an attempt by the Governor of South Kivu province, Claude Nyamugabo, to arrest the provincial anti-smuggling Unit boss, Abbas Kayonga at his home in Muhumba Island. Sources on ground indicate that the Governor allegedly accuses Kayonga of involvement in fraudulent mining and asked him to resign after smuggled minerals were intercepted. It is believed that Kayonga refused to resign and resisted any attempt to arrest him, alleging that the confiscated smuggled minerals belonged to the sister of the area governor. Kayonga, guarded by private security, was seen with a fully loaded machine gun in his garden during the standoff in which grenades and bombs were going off in the area. The crossfire left two of his guards wounded and one of them later this afternoon was reportedly dead from bullet wounds. Eye witnesses say residents in the area were seen fleeing to avoid being caught up in the fracass. Meanwhile, other residents have taken advantage of the situation and looted a church and shops. “This has created losses for Rwandan traders.We have asked residents on Rwandan side to stay calm. We are talking to DRC officials who say that it’s an issue of indiscipline and it will resolved,” the Mayor of Rusizi, Harelimana Frederic said” (Sabiiti, 2017).
So clearly, the gig was up and the time for it stop had to appear. There been rumors of his connection to Rwanda and that he used his connections to build houses and buy land in Rwanda. While could clearly be connected with the mineral industry of Rwanda and their export networks, which is connected with the Kivu provinces. That has been going on for decades. He has just used the commission to make agreements and funds. If not he wouldn’t have all these guns and guards as a civil servant in Bukavu.
This is clearly stopping one racket out of plenty, who are living off and sponging off the mineral extraction and export from South Kivu province to far hinterland. Kayonga is just one out of many, but his story is an example of someone trying to make a government institution, when there already are one and is able to live off it for years. That is what the government has accepted and wonder why it took so long to stop it as well. Since they must have known about the double check-up and commissions who looks into the matter of mineral exports in the province. That is really unique and that Kinshasa has accepted this behavior is something you also should think about. I don’t have the answer, but a reasonable pay-off and envelopes between them might have occurred now and then. Peace.
Nyota – ‘Fraude minière: 60 tonnes de cassitérite et de coltan saisies au Sud-Kivu’ (17.02.2017) link: http://www.nyota.net/2016/02/17/fraude-miniere-60-tonnes-de-cassiterite-de-coltan-saisies-sud-kivu/
Lumbambo, Adonis – ‘Suspension d’Abbas Kayonga : Le bureau de coordination de la société civile du Sud-Kivu jubile et charge l’incriminé’ (02.11.2017) link: http://www.laprunellerdc.info/2017/11/02/suspension-dabbas-kayonga-le-bureau-de-coordination-de-la-societe-civile-du-sud-kivu-jubile-et-charge-lincrimine/
Radio Okapi – ‘Sud-Kivu : des tirs entendus depuis le matin à Bukavu’ (05.11.2017) link: https://www.radiookapi.net/2017/11/05/actualite/securite/sud-kivu-des-tirs-entendus-depuis-le-matin-bukavu
Sabiiti, Daniel – ‘Rwandan Traders Stranded At DRC Border As Gunfire Rocks Across’ (05.11.2017) link: http://ktpress.rw/2017/11/rwandan-traders-stranded-at-drc-border-as-gunfire-rocks-across/
Save Act Mine (SAM-PPA) – ‘INTERIM REPORT OF MONITORING PROGRAM OF THE CHAIN
APPROVISIONNMENT MINERALS’ (August-September 2015)