57-year-old Jules Alingete Key is originally from Kutu, in the province of Maï-Ndombe. His cousin Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, who previously served as Kinshasa’s archbishop, also comes from this area. The head of the IGF nevertheless considers himself to be ‘a true Kinshasa man’.
Key was appointed head of the DRC’s Inspection Générale des Finances (IGF) on 1 July 2020. His job is to closely monitor public spending, financial authorities, tax services, state enterprises and all provincial governments.
Key knows every aspect of this agency attached to the presidency; he joined the IGF on 4 January 1989 as a trainee inspector. He was made an inspector in 2000, before former president Joseph Kabila appointed him as inspector general of finances in 2010. Key has worked in several government departments as a chartered accountant, tax specialist and business climate expert.
Key graduated with a degree in economics from the University of Kinshasa’s faculty of economics in 1988. Several of the country’s current top leaders were his classmates. They include:
Vital Kamerhe – Tshisekedi’s former chief of staff – who was sentenced to 20 years in prison and is forbidden from holding public office for 10 years; former prime minister Adolphe Muzito; Jean-Lucien Busa, the current minister of foreign trade; and former prime minister Augustin Matata Ponyo. Key and Ponyo had a very good relationship until the former discovered that Ponyo had been accused of embezzling $205m within the context of the Bukanga Lonzo agro-industrial park project.
- Closer to Tshisekedi
Key also worked as a business climate advisor under prime ministers Samy Badibanga and Bruno Tshibala. However, it is thanks to Tshibala’s cousins that he has gotten closer to Tshisekedi.
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
After successfully leading several control missions, the president appointed Key as head of the IGF. According to our information, several of Tshisekedi’s colleagues were unaware that he was planning to appoint Key to this position.
- Audit firm
Key and his wife are members of the Ordre des Experts-Comptables du Congo. Together with two other partners, they set up an economic, fiscal and accounting audit firm while he was still at the IGF. When he was appointed head of the agency, however, he stopped working for the firm.
- No party
Contrary to what is circulating on social media, Key has never been a member of a political party, not even Tshisekedi’s UDPS. However, according to some indiscrete sources, he is referred to as a ‘comrade’ within senate president Modeste Bahati Lukwebo’s AFDC-A. Key has already participated in two AFDC-A events after receiving an invitation from Lukwebo, but he is not a formal member of the party, according to those close to him.
Key has a cordial relationship with Martin Fayulu, who is still contesting Tshisekedi’s election.
In 2015, when Faden House – the oppositionist leader’s hotel – was closed by the authorities for non-payment of property tax, Fayulu hired Key’s auditing firm to establish his financial situation so that he could initiate legal proceedings against the state. Since then, they have stayed in touch and become friends.
- Matungulu, the mentor
Freddy Matungulu, who sits on the board of directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB), representing the six countries of the Groupe Afrique Centrale, is Key’s mentor and role model.
Matungulu was first his university professor and then his dissertation tutor. Key has always admired the integrity and competence of the former finance minister.
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