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Congo DRC: President's chief of staff arrested amid graft probe


<b>Congo DRC: President's chief of staff arrested amid graft probe</b>Vital Kamerhe, the chief of staff to the president of Democratic Republic of Congo, was arrested on Wednesday after testifying in an investigation into the alleged misappropriation of public funds.
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Vital Kamerhe, former chief of staff of Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi is in jail while awaiting his trial on corruption and embezzlement charges. He is the leader of the Union for the Congolese Nation opposition party. Previously he was the President of the National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 2006 to 2009. The all powerful and influential Director of Cabinet in President Felix Tshisekedi’s office is being detained at the maximum security central prison of Makala in the DRC capital Kinshasa. The government said that Vital Kamerhe is being investigated for embezzling billions that were allocated to 100-day work initiated by President Tshisekedi after he assumed office. On March 2, 2019 President Felix Tshisekedi launched the Emergency Program for the first 100 days of his mandate. His program included several infrastructure projects, schools and even social housing. However, there was a delay in the implementation of these projects and the President wanted answers. Kamerhe's arrest and detention was ordered on April 8th, sending the country into panic owing to the previous power he wielded as a former ally of both ex president Joseph Kabila and current president Félix Tshisekedi. Nicknamed the 'chameleon', he had negotiated an electoral alliance with Felix Tshisekedi and his party the UDPS, and a secret arrangement with the outgoing president, Joseph Kabila. Thanks to those manoeuvres, Felix Tshisekedi was declared the winner of the ballot after a controversial electoral process in which many believe the real winner was another opponent, Martin Fayulu. Many are wondering if this arrest is a sign of justice gaining independence in a country where there have never been separation of powers between the three branches of government before --- the executive, the legislative and the judiciary--- or a subtle political calculation devised by Félix Tshisekedi.

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