Corruption in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
|Corruption by country|
Corruption in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, once legendary, has diminished in recent years, but continues to exceed corruption in most states. The BBC's DRC country profile calls its recent history "one of civil war and corruption." President Joseph Kabila established the Commission of Repression of Economic Crimes upon his ascension to power in 2001.
Mobutu Sese Seko ruled Zaire from 1965 to 1997, looting his country's wealth for personal use to such a degree that critics coined the term "kleptocracy". A relative once explained how the government illicitly collected revenue: "Mobutu would ask one of us to go to the bank and take out a million. We'd go to an intermediary and tell him to get five million. He would go to the bank with Mobutu's authority, and take out ten. Mobutu got one, and we took the other nine."
Corruption Perception Index
The Kabila Regime
Laurent Kabila led an insurgence group against Mobutu and quickly assumed power after Mobutu was overthrown. During this time period, Kabila issued a statement making himself president with near absolute power in the government. With people supporting him for overthrowing Mobutu, he was not initially met with much public opposition. However, Kabila's and his government's goals for the regime were said to be unclear and vague.
He refused immediate elections in fear of the country returning to Mobutuism, and continued to postpone promised elections. The constitution was not changed, and he and his peers exploited resources for their personal benefit. Laurent Kabila, led a regime that upheld corruption through clientelism by appointing his clients as cabinet members. Under the Kabila regime, the DRC has failed to pull itself out of its “collapsed state” status from when Mobutu was in power.
The government has not implemented security and human rights reforms, free media, and the decentralization of power. The economy plummeted, forcing workers to be underpaid and living conditions to deteriorate. Laurent Kabila was killed in 2001 by one of his body guards in an attempted coup d'état.
His son, Joseph Kabila was elected president after Laurent Kabila's death. Joseph Kabila is working with the World Bank to curtail corruption and improve economy. In addition, the Commission of Economic Crimes was implemented in 2001 by President Joseph Kabila. Nonetheless, there are still reports of high ranking officials exploiting resources for their personal benefit and other forms of corruption. In 2006, the constitution changed the president's minimum age from 35 to 30 years old to include Joseph Kabila, who was 33 at the time. Similar to his father, Joseph Kabila has also been reported to minimize freedom of speech and freedom of the press by imprisoning opposing peoples.
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