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CONFLICT OF INTEREST: DR Congo Ex-Rebel Leader Minister Jean-Pierre Bemba’s Family Own Carbon Credit Company

Article 97 of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s constitution prohibits ministers and other high-ranking government officials from carrying out “any professional activity” but latest revealations show that the ex-rebel leader has once again hoodwinked his way past the law.

Influential Minister of Defence Jean-Pierre Bemba, previously accused of war crimes, has set up a carbon offsets company in the sparking fears the company will get favourable government treatment.

The Societe Conservation Forestiere (SCF), set up in December 2022, has been disguisely registered as co-owned by Bemba’s two adult children, Jean-Emmanuel Teixera, 30, and Magalie Tema Teixera, 29, respectively.

The documents show its stated goal is to sell carbon credits and it has applied to the provincial government for a “forest conservation concession” in Sud-Ubangi Province but it has not made progress on the ground and little else is known about it.

Several anti-corruption activists have raised concern over Bemba’s political power over Environment Minister Eve Bazaiba, his party subject, which he uses to benefit his family’s company.

In manouvering his way past the law, Bemba has had the SCF registered under his children who are listed under their mother’s last name and as Portugese citizens.

This is a deceitful strategem that has been used by several Ministers and other senior government officials in the Fèlix Tshisekedi regime to corrupt their way into owning private businesses that benefit greatly from their political influence, against the Congolese constitution.

To benefit his business, Bemba has ordered Bazaiba, the Environment Minister, support carbon offsets on the international scale.

Bazaiba has since then been a vocal supporter of carbon offsets and did so most recently at Cop28, where UN records show she was accompanied by her own daughter Nono Manganza and by Bemba’s eldest daughter Cynthia Bemba-Gombo.

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