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Former DRC Prime Minister Matata Ponyo ‘Stole U$205 million’ – Prosecution



Matata Ponyo Mapon the Former Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is sheduled this Wednesday to answer charges of embezzlement of public funds.

The Attorney General at the Constitutional Court Jean-Paul Mukolo Nkokesha on Monday issued a second summoning letter/ warrant against Mr Matata Ponyo.

The Attorney General indicated that Mr Matata Ponyo was charged with embezzlement of funds intended for the agro-industrial park of Bukanga-Lonzo. Matata, after several invitations and mandates, he did not respond.

According to the summon, the former Prime Minister is called to appear in the cabinet of this judicial body from this “Wednesday, July 12 at 11 a.m. sharp to be heard on offenses attributed to him”.

“And [we] let him know that, failing to do so, he will be forced to do so in accordance with the law,” warned Jean-Paul Mukolo in the note bearing his signature.

This public prosecutor had, in his indictment sent on June 20, indicated that he would have new elements in Matata’s file.

Three days later, the accused Matata, in turn, challenged the Attorney General at the Constitutional Court and the President of the Senate, Modeste Bahati, going so far as to file complaints with the Court of Cassation against the latter.

The former Prime Minister and the co-accused (Patrice Kitebi and the South African Kristo Glober) allegedly embezzled U$205 million out of the U$285million by the Public Treasury for the realization of this project, when he was Prime Minister.

“I did not steal any dollar from this project”, he declared, denouncing also a “manifest instrumentalization of justice and a legal skid” in the investigation of the file, in retaliation for having refrained from join the Sacred Union of the Nation, President Tshisekedi’s platform.

Patrick Muyaya the spokesman of the government reacted saying, “It is an aberration to imagine that there is a citizen on earth who is not justiciable.”

“How do you think that in a country, there are citizens who do not have judges? “, he wondered to recall that” it is unimaginable in a democracy because everyone must be able to answer for their actions “.

This case was opened in May 2021. Mr Matata is accused of embezzlement of public funds intended for the Bukanga-Lonzo agro-industrial park.

On June 20, the public prosecutor indicted Mr Matata and three days later, the accused, in turn, challenged the Attorney General at the Constitutional Court and the Court of Cassation against the latter.

The Court of Cassation declared itself incompetent to judge Mr Matata.He had spoken for the first time since the second judgment rendered on November 18, 2022 by the Constitutional Court which then declared itself competent to prosecute him.

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