Justice Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Celestin Tunda Ya Kasende, was arrested on Saturday in Kinshasa, a member of his political family told AFP. The power coalition in the country since the election of Félix Tshisekkedi is in the midst of a political crisis.
The political crisis continues within the ruling coalition of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Justice Minister Célestin Tunda Ya Kasende was arrested on June 27 in Kinshasa, a member of his political family told AFP.
>> Read: Democratic Republic of Congo: Vital Kamerhe, Chief of Staff at Tshisekedi, sentenced to “20 years of forced labor”
Celestine Tunda Ya Kasende was taken to the Prosecutor’s Office near the cassation court, says Deputy and Former Minister Felix Kabange Numbi, present in this court. “The police are around my home,” the Justice Minister himself told AFP 10 minutes before his arrest.
He is being prosecuted for “counterfeiting and use of forgery”, the deputy continued.
His arrest comes in the face of serious tensions within the ruling coalition, formed by President Félix Tshisekedi and his predecessor Joseph Kabila, of whom Tunda Ya Kasende is a close friend.
“The police are around my home,” the Justice Minister himself told AFP 10 minutes before his arrest.
#RDC🇨🇩: A dozen police officers occupy the residence of the Deputy Prime Minister responsible for the Justice, Celestin Tunda Yakasende. According to a legal source, they have “an order to take”. VPM camps in its home with some members in its cabinet.
– Pascal Mulegwa (@pascal_mulegwa) June 27, 2020
When asked about a “prosecuting authority” issued to him, which legal sources had mentioned, the minister replied: “That’s what I hear. I have not yet seen the document”.
“I have immunity as a member of the government,” he added.
Loic controversial proposals
A lawyer, Célestin Tunda Ya Kasende, is a member of the political family Joseph Kabila, a majority in parliament and who forms a government coalition with President Chisekedi’s party.
On Friday, during the Council of Ministers, the head of state strongly criticized his Justice Minister for submitting the government’s statement to the National Assembly on three very controversial legislative proposals.
A “personal initiative”, notes the Council of Ministers’ report.
These legislative proposals on the status of magistrates, defended by two Common Front for Congo (FCC) deputies, former President Kabila’s political platform, provoked violent demonstrations on Tuesday and Wednesday around Parliament, from supporters of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), president Tshisekedi’s party.
The prime minister and a majority of the 66 prime ministers come from the FCC. The arrested minister has the status of Deputy Prime Minister.