Ex-Zambia Spy Chief Wades into DRC Politics … Xavier Chungu Reveals How Katumbi Contributed $20 Million to Liberate Congo

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Ex-Zambia spy chief Xavier Chungu says former Katanga governor Moise Katumbi contributed in excess of $20 million in the liberation of the Democratic of Congo from dictator Mobutu Sese Seko 32 year rule.

Featuring on a special programme on Diamond TV dubbed Costa, Chungu says Katumbi – at the time a businessman in Zambia – was very critical to funding the operations of Laurent Desire Kabila.

The late Kabila deposed Mobutu in May 1997 after leading a rebellion that started in the eastern part of the DRC having lived in exile for years in Tanzania.

Kabila, who was assassinated on January 16, 2001 by his body guard, relied heaving on Katumbi for support in the march to the capital Kinshasa.

Chungu says second Republican president Frederick Chiluba played a key role in influencing Katumbi to support Kabila’s quest to liberate the Congo – Africa’s largest copper producer.

“I and former president Chiluba prevailed strongly on Moses who was living in Zambia then to try and give up support to Kabila’s push to get into power. They [Kabila and the rebels] didn’t have anything. And Moses had everything they needed in the warehouses in Lubumbashi.

“These are things that he has been trading to the mines. Their family; they always had businesses with the Gercamines and the mines in the Congo for many years so we had to ask him to abandon that program and sacrifice for the time being with the promise that he was going to be paid back the money.

“And indeed he gave Laurent Desire Kabila everything that they wanted. We are talking about supplies that amounted to more than $20 million, but he had to agree because President Chiluba had a lot of influence on Moses,” Chungu narrates.

He says he was the best person to narrate part of Congo’s historic power change in the late the 1990s as he experienced it firsthand.

Chungu said it was unfortunate that former president Joseph Kabila, who recently gave up power after being forced to abandon an illegal third term bid, would brand Katumbi in the manner he had done.

 

“At least I have been there and I know the problems that existed between Moses and the outgoing president of Congo [Joseph Kabila]. Moses can’t be underrated in the amount of support he gave to the father of the former president

“I think President Kabila [son] knows Moses very well. He knows where they are coming from with Moses. He knows that Moses was a big boy. He had a lot of money. He knows that Moses sustained them with his father.

“Moses has contributed sufficiently for that matter, not only to the war. Even when it came to campaigning to propagate the name of Joseph Kabila after the death of his father, Moses played a very big role,” he added. “If it wasn’t for Moses I think our president in the Congo would have had difficulties in certain areas.”

Chungu said it was important to put the story of Congo’s transformation into proper context so that the next generation will have a correct version free of distortion.

He said Katumbi was never reimbursed his full contribution to the liberation of Congo.

Chungu further revealed that he at one time acted as a conduit to receive Katumbi’s reimbursement which did not amount to the total contribution made.

“I remember at one time I think I can’t remember the month exactly but I was sent to Kinshasa because Moses had asked President Chiluba, ‘it’s time now to have my money paid back.’

“So Dr. Chiluba sent me to see president Laurent Desire Kabila. And I was assured that he was going to be given all his money. He was given a little, very little amount of money that very day but the rest of the money Moses has always told me has never been paid back to him,” he adds.

Katumbi fell out with Kabila the son after his popularity sky-rocketed in the run up to the 2016 elections which was delayed for nearly three years.

This led to Kabila, who took over power after his father’s assassination, to force Katumbi into exile where he has been since then. Attempts by Katumbi to return to the DRC to contest the election in 2018 as opposition leader were thwarted.

A protest vote by the people of Congo saw the population vote for the opposition leaving the ruling party candidate to finish in a distant third place. Although reports widely speculate that Martin Fayulu, a common opposition candidate won the poll, it was Felix Tshisekedi – another opposition figure – who was declared winner by the country’s electoral commission.

 

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