Congo Siasa

Innocent is Guilty; MPs get paid

Two news articles of interest:

  • First, MONUC has hit once again by the press after The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that one of the most abusive commanders in the Congolese army benefited from their support during operations in December and January. This despite the UN’s alleged screening of the units they support for such culprits. In the interview, Colonel Innocent Zimurinda told the Post: “We want to say ‘thank you’ to the U.N.” Great quote, great name. Human Rights Watch has called for Zimurinda and his commander General Bosco Ntaganda to be arrested.
  • A piece in Jeune Afrique on the Congolese national assembly and their salaries. As I reported in January, they get over $4,000 a month plus $1,700 for phone bills and transport. Not bad. The piece talks about the wrangling over what they get paid, but the worst for me is that since Evariste Boshab took over the presidency of the institution a year ago, the MPs don’t seem to be working much anymore. Many MPs show up, sign their name in the register – so they get their expense allowances – and leave again.
  • Finally, a nice picture of Bukavu from 1932. Hard to believe that where now 500,000-700,000 people live, only 70 years ago was this bucolic scene. This is a view of La Botte, courtesy of Collection J.CL Duhot (here).