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THE LAW MUST TAKE ITS COURSE: Parliament Approves Probe of Former Finance Minister in Borehole & Street Lighting Corruption

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s National Assembly have approved the opening of a judicial investigation against former Minister of Finance Nicolas Kazadi and his former rural development counterpart François Rubota who have been found with cases to answer in the “over-invoicing” boreholes and street lights projects.

Kazadi and Rubota, both national deputies, have been cited for having approved the projects to drill 1000 boreholes and installation of street lights at insane costs amounting to US$400,000 and US$13 million respectively.

The motion to institute investigations into the corruption scandal was moved by the lower house of parliament following the approval of the conclusions on special and temporary commission set up to rule on the requests of the Prosecutor General at the Court of Cassation which was chaired by Guy Mafuta Kabongo.

The establishment of this commission was decided during the very first plenary held on May 29 by Vital Kamerhe as the new Speaker of the House of Parliament.

On 27 April, Firmin Mvonde Mambu, Prosecutor General at the Court of Cassation, requested the National Assembly for authorization to open a judicial investigation against the above-mentioned persons.

“In their comparison with the law, the facts as set out appear to constitute the offence of embezzlement of public funds provided for and punishable by Article 145 of the Congolese Penal Code, Book II. The nature of the facts and the seriousness of the evidence found require that the defendants François RUBOTA MASUMBUKO, Minister of State for Rural Development and Nicolas KAZADI, Minister of Finance, be heard to give their version of the facts.

May it please the Bureau of the National Assembly to authorize the investigation against the above-mentioned defendants for embezzlement of public funds and to allow them to present their means of defense,” the prosecutor’s indictment reads.

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