In the shadows

DRC: A mystery named Kabila

By Anna Sylvestre-Treiner

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Posted on March 3, 2022 18:12

Firefox_Screenshot_2022-03-01T09-51-33.018Z Joseph Kabila, in Kinshasa, on 30 December 2018. © Luis Tato/AFP
Joseph Kabila, in Kinshasa, on 30 December 2018. © Luis Tato/AFP

Retired on his own land, the DRC’s former president Joseph Kabila leads the rural life of a young retiree. However, it is hard to imagine that this secretive man no longer harbours any political ambitions. After his split with Félix Tshisekedi, does he dream of revenge?

Suddenly, the brakes gave out. This was unfortunate, as the old Peugeot 404 was on a hill. It began to roll down the slope, uncontrollably. That day, Kabila had gone for a drive, as he often does, on the roads of Kingakati with his driver.

The raïs spends much of his time on 19,000 hectares of green and hilly parkland, which he discovered when he came to power 21 years ago. Although the area is only 50km from Kinshasa, it feels further as the air is pure and mild. He feels calm as he admires these immense lands and contemplates the animals. Oxen, pigs, cows, chickens… The statesman has not only become a farmer, breeder and landowner here but also in his native province of Katanga and Central Congo. No one knows exactly how many farms he owns.

He loves his zebras, giraffes and lions more than anything else. There are even rhinoceroses. Kabila has imported a real savannah. “He’s a kid,

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