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DRC: Moïse Katumbi in the mix for prime minister post

By Jeune Afrique
Posted on Monday, 15 February 2021 10:21

Moise Katumbi
Moise Katumbi in Brussels in May 2019. Johanna de Tessières/ Huma Collective for JA

DRC's President Félix Tshisekedi is preparing to appoint a new Prime Minister to replace Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba, who resigned at the end of January. According to the Congolese president's entourage, the post has been offered to former Katanga Governor and presidential hopeful Moïse Katumbi.

Almost two weeks after Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba was forced to resign, the appointment of his successor is imminent. According to our information, the name of the future head of government should be revealed in the next few days.

Several names regularly emerge, including that of Modeste Bahati Lukwebo, tasked by the Congolese president to find a new parliamentary majority after his break with Joseph Kabila. But in recent days, Tshisekedi has wanted to play the Katanga card.

Katumbi prefers

According to our sources, the Head of State wished to entrust the job to Moïse Katumbi. He sent several high-level advisers to Lubumbashi this week, who were in charge, among other things, of discussions with the former governor of Katanga.

But Moïse Katumbi declined the proposal, telling Tshisekedi’s team that the current political context “does not lend itself” to his appointment. However, he reiterated his willingness to remain within the Sacred Union and said he was favourable to the idea that the post should go to a personality from Katanga.

Those close to Katumbi confirm that he has received the envoys of Tshisekedi and spoke of a “strategic” response. According to the entourage of the former governor of Katanga, the opponent would in fact like to have a face-to-face discussion with the Congolese president to talk about the post.

In the meantime, Tshisekedi’s envoys are continuing their tour. According to our information, they also met former president Joseph Kabila, on the occasion of their passage in Haut-Katanga.