DRC: 8 facts about Tshisekedi’s anti-corruption boss, Jules Alingete Key

By Stanis Bujakera Tshiamala

Posted on Thursday, 20 May 2021 18:24
Jules Alingete Key, Kinshasa, DRC, October 2020. Portrait of Jules Alingete, Kinshasa, DRC, October 2020. Colin Delfosse for JA

Jules Alingete Key, the head of the DRC’s 'Inspection Générale des Finances' (IGF), is a key member of President Félix Tshisekedi's cabinet. The President has tasked him with tracking down people who have been accused of embezzling public funds. Key’s latest target is former prime minister Augustin Matata Ponyo.

  • Maï-Ndombe

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’.

  • IGF

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.

  • Classmates

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.

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.

  • Fayulu

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.

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