Investigations into the terrifying and brutal assassination of former Transport Minister, Cherubin Okende have become a contentious matter in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo as family members on Wednesday stormed the government demanding it to make available results of an autopsy carried out in July following the death of their relative.
Cherubin Okende, was assassinated on July 13, 2023. His lifeless body was found in his SUV on Avenue Produits Lourds in the capital Kinshasa.
The autopsy of Cherubin Okende’s body was carried out on August 3, 2023, with the collaboration of foreign experts, in the presence of family members and MONUSCO.
Since then, the investigation has continued to establish the truth about this murder but no results are being released at least to the family.
“Almost two months have passed since the autopsy. Are the results still not in the hands of the Prosecutor’s Office? Where are we today? Does the Prosecutor’s Office really have the will to clarify this tragedy? Or is this slowness and silence strategic, with the aim of burying a delicate matter?” asks the collective of lawyers of the Okende family.
Okende’s family is concerned about the slow pace of the investigation, especially since the autopsy was carried out without the results being communicated.
In a previous correspondence addressed to the public prosecutor, the family’s lawyers had again requested clarification on the progress of the investigation.
Last month, the lawyer for Papy Nkanga and Nico Kabund, Cherubin Okende’s driver and bodyguard respectively, also expressed concerns about the length and conditions of his clients’ detention. He stressed that the right to defense was not respected in this case.
According to local reports, the Okende family as well as their lawyer, Laurent Onyemba, on Tuesday stormed the office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, Security and Customary Affairs, Peter Kazadi Kankonde, to discuss the ongoing investigation into the murder.
After their discussions, Onyemba said that the government had expressed its firm desire to shed light on the murder of Okende.
He also indicated that measures had been taken to collect evidence, including the autopsy of Cherubin Okende’s body and the analysis of his car, in order to establish responsibilities in this case.