Uproar As DRCongo President Gives 500 Jeeps To his Deputies

by Helvine Achieng
June 23, 2021

Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi has recently gifted luxury vehicles to each of the 500 deputies. The gifting move has provoked an uproar in the country and led one campaigning group to take the matter to court.

On the issue, the speaker of parliament, Christophe Mboso, last week said the jeeps had been a present from the president to deputies for having acted on his appeal to join the presidential coalition, according to an audio recording widely shared online.

"The purchase of 500 jeeps is corruption in broad daylight," Florimont Muteba, president of the Observatory of Public Spending (ODEP) told AFP.

"We were sickened; we have condemned it. But the time for emotion has passed," he added.

"Now it's time to act, to go to court."

"These jeeps weren't given free to the deputies," pro-Tshisekedi deputy Eliezer Thambwe told AFP. "There will be deductions made from their wages."

On the other hand, Congo rights activist Jean-Claude Katende stated,

 "Any deputy who takes the vehicle offered by the president of the republic will be considered as corrupt."