The DRC’s 'inspection générale des finances' (IGF) has identified several key figures – including Joseph Kabila's former prime minister ... Augustin Matata Ponyo – involved in the disappearance of more than $205m for the Bukanga Lonzo agroindustrial park project.
“The excesses of a few cannot ruin the efforts of all.” A little more than 48 hours after French Prime Minister Jean Castex chastised the organisers of “clandestine parties.” The fact that police had to intervene to end such a party has been reported extensively from Paris to Monrovia.
The main actor involved in this “scandal” is 33-year-old George Weah Jr., the son of the Liberian president. According to the French newspaper 20minutes, Weah Jr. was arrested during the night of 1 to 2 February for “insult and rebellion.” After receiving complaints from disgruntled neighbours, the police intervened at around 3:30 am in a flat in the eighth district of Paris, where eight people were partying.
While the police were drawing up a series of reports for failure to comply with health measures, Weah Jr. – reportedly very drunk – verbally attacked them. The son of the Liberian head of state then showed the police his diplomatic passport, but was arrested anyway. After a visit to the police station in the 17th district of Paris, he was released and served with a summons for 4 February to verify the status of his diplomatic immunity.
The incident was quickly picked up by most of the French press and widely relayed on social media. The day after the arrest, Le Parisien published photos of the party that had been taken by his neighbours.
The newspaper also reported the complaints of residents who were upset by the numerous parties that Weah Jr. had organised during the first confinement at his home in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, a posh commune located in the western suburbs of Paris. A luxurious apartment – 120m2, with a 50m2 terrace – where, according to the witnesses mentioned, parties “with girls and champagne” followed one after another against a background of thunderous music.
The article continues below
Get your free PDF: Top 200 banks 2019
The race to transform
Complete the form and download, for free, the highlights from The Africa Report’s Exclusive Ranking of Africa’s top 200 banks from last year. Get your free PDF by completing the following form
According to these disgruntled neighbours, the person concerned has on several occasions brandished his diplomatic passport in front of the police officers called for night disturbance.
George Weah is “angry”
In a short interview with Le Parisien published on 5 February, Weah Jr. tried to defuse the scandal. Claiming that he later went to the police station in the 8th district of Paris to explain himself, accompanied by a representative of the Liberian embassy in Paris who confirmed his identity, he said he had then talked to his father about the incident.
“He is very upset and very angry”, says Weah Jr. “My family is very unhappy with this situation because it tarnishes a reputation that has always been very good.” Promising that “it won’t happen again”, he also “apologised” to his disgruntled neighbours.
Understand Africa's tomorrow... today
We believe that Africa is poorly represented, and badly under-estimated. Beyond the vast opportunity manifest in African markets, we highlight people who make a difference; leaders turning the tide, youth driving change, and an indefatigable business community. That is what we believe will change the continent, and that is what we report on. With hard-hitting investigations, innovative analysis and deep dives into countries and sectors, The Africa Report delivers the insight you need.View subscription options