Local Politics

Congo-Kinshasa: President’s Dodgy Mining Deal With Mining Magnate Likely to Be a Costly Miscalculation

Questions mount over president Félix Tshisekedi withholding details of the deal to recover assets from the controversial mining magnate.

Many clues about what the enigmatic president Félix Tshisekedi is really about seem hidden in the secret deal his government signed on 24 February with notorious Israeli mining magnate Dan Gertler.

Gertler was former Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) president Joseph Kabila’s closest business crony. The memorandum of understanding between Tshisekedi and Gertler would allow the DRC to “recover the disputed mining and oil assets” of Gertler’s company Ventura, worth more than $2-billion, the DRC said.

“This is a historic first for the country, which is thus reclaiming assets whose sale had been called into question. The Congolese State will therefore revalue these assets for the exclusive benefit of the population,” the DRC Presidency said in Twitter posts.

But the failure to publish the details of the deal so far has raised many questions about its merits. The DRC anti-corruption watchdog Le Congo n’est pas à vendre (CNPAV) (Congo is not for sale) is one of many civil society voices demanding that the full agreement be made public. This would allay fears that Tshisekedi hasn’t simply launched “a new cycle…

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