It is weird and sad, that as the days goes, that President Joseph Kabila is still a thing. Let me clear, he is lingering unconstitutionally at his role as the President and without an official mandate. He is squatting at the highest office in the 3rd Republic and the world, just let him get away with it. It is like it easier that way, there is less accountability, less transparency and less proper guidelines of governance, therefore, let him be. So, the world can get the resources and the minerals from the rich country, while the state is piss-poor. Because who needs this stuff through proper procedure, tariffs and through fair trading. No, that is only for theories and not for the reality.
Kabila is still in power and its 19th May 2018. When his final term ended was on the 19th December 2016, which means that there has been 517 days since his term ended. What is more insulting is that he had long grace period before his first election in 2006 and the second in 2011, therefore needed to prepare to leave before the end of his second 5 year term in 2016. However, as we know, that didn’t happen. Therefore, he has been the de facto leader now since 26th January 2001. With two elected terms, but the rest of the time, been ruling with grace. That grace continues, without any hesitation or any significant change.
We have now let a man without any mandate rule for one year, five months and one day. That should be insulting to anyone, to let that happen and get away with it. It is just selfish to think otherwise. Yes, there are other self-serving, self-interested leaders who impose themselves on the their republic. They rig their constitutions, they make the laws of association and electoral malpractice into a profession. While the public await the army and the rigged tallies of their victorious achievement of another term, after paying off cronies and the making the institutions praise the almighty leader. That is happening all around the world, like we are still living in a feudal time and the peasants, just have to follow the anointed kings.
It is not like the two elections for Kabila was marred with issues, but the people and stakeholders had hope, as it was a significant change from the two brutal wars that had been. The government of the 3rd Republic would be different, as there haven’t been any peaceful transition of power. The last time that happen was with Patrice Lumumba and he got assassinated by a foreign force under code-name “Swamp Monster”. So who knows it was the Belgians or the CIA, as they both wanted a puppet to the Republic.
However, lets get back to Kabila, who is not leaving in peace, he isn’t leaving at all. He on his third illegal term, without any elections. Using all tools to stay in power, all insurgency, all massacres in Kasai-Oriental, Kivu’s and all the problems in the Republic. Establishing a hard-line against the real opposition in UNDP, Ensamble and everyone else questioning his powers. Stopping protests and activists from Lucha. Nothing is not touched, even bishops, priests and church protests is shut down with vile force. Nothing is to spare the people, only man who reign in mercy is Kabila. The rest has to bow their knees and hope they are not his prey. Therefore, we all need to pray.
Kabila continues to linger in power, 517 days over his mandate, the MONUSCO, the International Community, still letting him linger, nothing is imposed or taken away. A few sanctions on companies and few of the elites, even the vital minerals are still exported either through the ports or through Rwanda. Just like it has done for years. No-one questioning it, no one wonders where the militias are getting resources to buy arms, but who cares as long as the world can have a fancy smart-phone right?
Kabila just got it made. No one doubt it and steps on his throne. They just let him. The ones that does oppose. Will get the taste of pain, the agony and even stop breathing. That is known, but no one says much or cries havoc. It is just the Democratic Republic of Congo, a place where that is normal. They are our brothers and sisters, but we cannot shield them. We cannot make sure their future is sealed. No, as long as we get the minerals, we don’t mind war-lords, militias and scrupulous killings of civilians. We don’t mind, we get a bargain and the elites of Kinshasa get massive wealth. We are letting the masses starving, and letting the elite “Kabiliaist” eat of everyone’s plate. That is the order of our time.
Even with knowing that, we let it go and let it be. Because that pain and agony isn’t ours. But we let him stay and use his force, to generate wealth for our tech-companies, but he get to decide the fate of his civilians. However, he does that without a mandate, without a transparent leadership and without the needed accountability, that would lead into a better future. Because it is all in his decrees and his allies that matters. Not what is for the better future, but enrich his pockets. That narrative in our world, never gets old.
What is insulting is that he thinks he can get away with it. That he don’t think he got to pay for being in-charge over it and not trying make a difference.
Kabila is lingering and no-one is batting an eye. He is far from the only one. I know that, but still, that should not be forgotten. That he is now 517 days on overtime, that isn’t just awaiting CENI to push an election. That is postponing so he can loot a bit more and hope people forget about this. Peace.
Again, the investor and mineral licensing powerhouse in the Democratic Republic Congo, Dan Gertler is even more under fire after the revelations of his illicit trade during the recent years. Now, the formula and the amount of cash he gets from the foreign mineral extraction companies are paying for their passage to him. This as the deals between Getler and Kinshasa authorities are left in the dark. Whatever deal they have, certainly Getler is earning fortunes without doing more, than being connected to the Joseph Kabila government.
This report shows important facts and also bring certainties of the assumed fortunes made by Gertler, even as he is sanctioned and his corporations. Clearly, the mineral extraction is profitable in the midst of insecurity and civilian despair in the republic. While the businesses and the affiliates are eating, the public are fleeing militias and the army itself. The state is not serving the public, but the companies and the persons who has secret deals with the government. It is vicious and the international community let them, even as it is sanctioned, the acts are still appearing and has the ability to earn on it.
“Based on a number of assumptions, Resource Matters estimates the royalties to the Gertler-affiliated companies can be expected to amount to about $110 million for 2018 and nearly $100 million for 2019. This means that Gertler risks losing about $270,000 in revenue from Glencore’s operations per day. That is nearly twice as much as the world’s best paid soccer player, Lionel Messi, makes at Barcelona” (Resource Matters, P: 6, 2018).
“Glencore therefore has to balance the risk of increased pressure in Congo versus the risk of ending up on the U.S. sanctions list. This means that the royalty payments constitute a significant risk, whether they stop or continue. Investors should be able to know how Glencore will deal with this going forward. U.K anti-corruption organization Global Witness has repeatedly lamented the opacity of Glencore’s royalty payments to Gertler’s companies and called for better disclosure” (Resource Matters, P: 8, 2018).
“This conclusion was somewhat hasty. Gertler’s gold companies do not explicitly feature on the sanctions list, but that in itself does not matter. Under the U.S. Treasury’s so-called 50%-rule, any company owned at least 50% by a sanctioned entity is considered, per se, sanctioned because it is deemed to be “blocked property” of the sanctioned person. Both Moku Goldmines and Société Minière de Moku-Beverendi are at least 50% owned by Fleurette, a sanctioned entity, and should be considered sanctioned, too. In addition, the fact that no payments are made to Gertler does not shield Randgold from the risk of being sanctioned. The U.S. Treasury could qualify Randgold’s exploration activities at Moku-Beverendi as ‘material support’ to a sanctioned entity and impose sanctions on Randgold” (Resource Matters, P: 9, 2018).
Gertler might be in hot-water and the Kabila government might have decisions to make concerning their alliance. Still, the trades and contracts has been made, if the Kabila government suspend and revoke it, they might have to pay a settlement. While wait for a new company or middle-man to secure a grand deal for the licensing. We can question if the loyalty will be there, as long as the sanctions might hit the companies who works with Gertler. Because, they do not want to lose the profitable and secure delivery of the cobalt and other minerals in the Republic.
Surely, Getler don’t want to miss his winning ways and his double earnings of Messi. He want it and doesn’t care about how. Getler just continue to score and get contracts, which makes his giant fortune. It is by the blessing of his connections in Kinshasa. Peace.
Resource Matters – ‘The Global Magnitsky – Effect How will U.S. sanctions against Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler affect the DR Congo’s extractive sector?” (February 2018).