Resumption of the trial of Vital Kamerhe tried for alleged embezzlement

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), on May 11, the Kinshasa / Gombe High Court, sitting in a fairground at Makala central prison, held its first hearing in the case of public prosecutor and civil party against Vital Kamerhe et al. Vital Kamerhe, director of cabinet to President Félix Tshisekedi, is being prosecuted for embezzlement over the construction of prefabricated houses under the so-called “100 days” program. The trial resumed on Monday, May 25 in the morning. The questions focused on contracts for the purchase of prefabricated homes over US $ 50 million.

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The first questions that were asked revolved around the procedure that led to the choice of the Samibo company of the Lebanese businessman, Samih Jamal, within the framework of the prefabricated houses market.

Combative as at the first hearing, Vital Kamerhe explained that he had not participated in this process.

He transferred responsibility for this choice to Justin Bitakwira, then Minister of Rural Development. Justin Bitakwira, precisely, had already been confronted with Vital Kamerhe a few weeks earlier in Makala prison.

The court also asked Vital Kamerhe how millions of dollars had been paid to the Samibo company when the addendum to the prefabricated houses contract had not yet been signed.

For Félix Tshisekedi’s chief of staff, it is up to the heads of the spending chain, including the Minister of Budget, to answer this question.

I never paid a dollar to anyone. I’m just a chief of staff “, he said.

On a proposal from the civil party and the public prosecutor, the court announced that it will hear several witnesses on June 3.

With our correspondent in Kinshasa,

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