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Two DRC Judges Refuse Taking Oath Before President Tshisekedi

The Congolese justice system is engulfed in a complex situation following the refusal by two constitutional judges to take oath before the Head of State.

Two judges of the constitutional court Jean Ubulu Mpungu and Noël Kilomba Ngozimala appointed Presidents of the Court of Cassation by an order of the Head of State Félix Tshisekedi on July 17, 2020 refused to take the oath, this Tuesday.

According to details they want to stay at the Constitutional Court to complete their constitutional mandates there while their oaths were scheduled for Tuesday 04 August 2020.

These two judges estimate that the respective terms of the constitutional court are nine (9) years for each, and are still in progress.

“Allow us, nevertheless, to inform your Very High Authority that in accordance with the Constitution, in its article 158, paragraph 3, and with the Organic Law no 13/026 of October 15, 2013, on the organization and functioning of the Court Constitutionally, in its article 6, our respective Mandates are nine (9) years for each, and are still in progress,” the judges said in a joint communiqué.

Foremost, the two judges argue that although they were appointed by the President, they claim were not consulted.

“Excellency the President of the Republic, It was through the airwaves and without prior consultation that we learned, on July 17, 2020, of our appointments as Presidents to the Court of Cassation, by Ordinance n ° 20/108 of July 17, 2020, which were followed by our immediate replacements, while it is since July 2014 for Judge Kilomba, and April 2018 for Judge Ubulu, that by our respective letters, copies of which were reserved for you in due time, we had lifted the option of no longer work at the Supreme Court of Justice, until the end of our nine-year mandates at the Constitutional Court, and this, in accordance with the Constitution, in its article 158, paragraph 3, as well as with Organic Law no. ° 13/026 of October 15, 2013, on the organization and functioning of the Constitutional Court, in its articles 6 and 34,” reads part of their correspondence.

The assistant to the President of the Republic, Michée Mulumba, considers that Judges Kilomba and Ubulu refusing to go to the Court of Cassation for not having completed their mandates at the Constitutional Court amounts to pure manipulation which results from a failure after their appeal against their departure from the High Court.

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