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THIEVING GOVERNOR: Kyabula Linked To Theft Of 120 Tons Of Copper

A preliminary investigation into the recent disappearance of 120 tons of copper cathodes belonging to Tenke Fungurume Mining (TFM) has revealed that Haut Katanga Governor Jacques Kyabula Katwe is at the center of the theft.

The Human Rights Research Institute (IRDH) have found that Kyabula allegedly pocketted over $120, 000 as upfront payment for the minerals with the remainder pledged to be honoured after payment is completed.

Director of IRDH Maître TSHISWAKA MASOKA Hubert, says the silence by Kyabula speaks volume.

In a statement, Tshimwaka says the narration of events exonerates former minister Eric Muta but puts a lot of responsibility on Kyabula especially on the security policy of the mines.

Tshimwaka says IRDH has established four new elements in addition to the testimony of the three drivers of MAJ LOGISTICS LTD who narrated that they were stripped of 120 tons of copper cathodes under the watch of the 22nd military battalion.

“The copper cathodes were transhipped in three Sinotruck HOWO vehicles, smuggled to Zambia, via the dusty LUMATA road, under the supervision of a certain MATHURIN (Congolese);

“(ii) The buyer is established in Zambia, a certain Jac MA (Chinese), allegedly paid Governor KYABULA an advance of USD 129,000.00 (one hundred and twenty-nine thousand US dollars). The balance would be paid after the crossing of the cargo;

“(iii) A witness reports that in October 2022, the same MATHURIN would have bought more than 210 tons of copper cathodes transported by seven vehicles registered in RSA, secured by the company BRAS SECURIY: KJ89LX GP, BF64MS GP, JY09CF GP, BF59VF GP, FD01CN GP and JNZ 0980 MP. These were impounded by the Superior Auditor of Ex-Katanga, sent to the 22nd Military Region, before their disappearance,” Tshimwaka stated.

Tshimwaka says IRDH has seen a report from the Commander of the second defense zone, General-Major MASUNZU Pacific, which accuses the Commander of the 22nd Military Region, at the General Staff of the FARDC, of ​​having falsely implicated him in its “Mission report in Lualaba.”
0839/22RgnMil/Comdt/23, of July 10, 2023, on the illegal exploitation of the highly strategic KASOMPE uranium site.

“These four new elements raise the questions below, on the silence of the supervising ministers and the General Staff of the FARDC

“(i) What is the effective role of Governor KYABULA, Head of the Provincial Executive, in this scandalous existence of the networks of mineral thieves who would maintain insecurity in the province, denounced on World Radio by a member of his own Government?

“(ii) Why, despite the many complaints from the victims and the public outcry caused by these thefts of copper ores and the consequent insecurity, General Smith GIHANGA is in no way questioned by the General Staff Command General of the FARDC on whom does Military Justice depend?

“(iii) If he had nothing to do with it, why would General Smith GIHANGA draw up a false report accusing his immediate boss of having elements in the illegal exploitation of the KASOMPE uranium site?

“(iv) If there were indications of guilt against the Provincial Minister of the Interior, why did the General Prosecutor’s Office at the Court of Cassation not execute his “warrant of arrest” issued against him, despite having returned freely to Kinshasa?,” asks Tshimwaka.

The official is demanding a thorough investigation into the disappearance of the copper which has exposed Kyabula and President Felix Tshisekedi as thieves at the center of pilfering minerals.

“The competent authorities are required to take urgent action to dismantle the networks of copper thieves.

“Investigate the case of the theft of 120 tons of copper cathodes in order to put an end to the impunity for the acts of organized gangs,” Tshimwaka says.

The civil society lawyer has also asked that the victim’s vehicles (the Zambian carrier MAJ LOGISTICS LTD) registered BCF 348, BCE 8677 and BCF1013, held without valid reasons be returned to Zambia.



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