DRC: A Congolese NGO denounces “fraud and illicit enrichment” in parliament

DRC: A Congolese NGO denounces “fraud and illicit enrichment” in parliament

The institution, accused of being “budget-hungry”, would have spent 1.1 billion dollars between 2021 and 2023.

The warning shot was fired on May 9 through a report produced by the Congolese NGO Center for Research in Public Finance and Local Development (CREFDL).

According to this report, entitled “The Biface of the Congolese Parliament: a controller to be controlled”, based on 500 budgetary documents and interviews with 100 political figures and members of the public administration, the management of public funds by the two chambers (Assembly National and Senate) is characterized by “fraud and illicit enrichment” of elected officials.

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The report indicates that during the period of 2021 and 2023, the Congolese Parliament, “a budget-intensive institution, spent 1.1 billion US dollars of which 60% was used by the National Assembly and 40% by the Senate. This amount, which represents 3.31% of the state budget, corresponds to the current needs expressed by the rural development sector to rehabilitate 40,000 kilometers of agricultural service roads and relieve congestion in the territories with the capitals of the provinces of the DRC”.

Very expensive vehicles

One of the most striking points of this study is undoubtedly the amount spent on the acquisition of vehicles: $90 million, “against the authorized ceiling of $4.5 million, recording an overrun of 1,999.85%,” the report explains.

Valéry Madianga, coordinator of CREFDL and one of the main authors of this research with Paulin Kibendelwa and Christelle Nsimba, explained cautiously: “We believe there are indications of corruption in the financing of the purchase of these vehicles”.

The report also indicates that the fourteen members of the Office of the National Assembly, chaired since 2021 by the octogenarian Christophe Mboso, ex-Mobutist, ex-Kabilist, visibly ultimately convinced by Tshisekedism, “are doubly remunerated. First as members of the National Assembly and then as a member of the Offices”.

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The report reveals the squandering of funds allocated to the project to build the offices of parliamentary committees, the Parliament dispensary and the archives repository. Although the amounts were disbursed, no one has ever found any trace of these constructions.

Total opacity

The CREFDL report further highlights the “opacity” surrounding the entire management of the Congolese Parliament, whose governing bodies used a line of credit called the “special intervention fund”, valued at $309 million, to finance the initiatives. of parliamentary control. According to the authors of the report, despite the sums spent “parliamentary control was not well organized between 2021 and 2023”. Which allows Valéry Madianga to add: “Parliament is supposed to control government action or cases of illicit enrichment” but “we no longer know who can control who”.

The report further indicates that correspondence was sent to the Offices of both chambers but that no response was received.

The elected representatives of the Congolese Parliament, made up of 500 deputies and 108 senators, are among the best paid in the world. By adding the average salary and benefits of all kinds, Congolese national elected officials today pocket between 21,000 and 25,000 dollars per month in a country where teachers receive, when they are paid, 200 dollars per month.