Moïse Katumbi

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Moïse Katumbi
Governor of Katanga Province
In office
2007 – September 2015
Preceded by Gabriel Kyungu
Succeeded by Katanga Province dissolved
Personal details
Born (1964-12-28) 28 December 1964 (age 51)
Democratic Republic of Congo
Nationality Congolese
Political party PPRD (until 2015)
Spouse(s) Carine Katumbi[1]
Occupation Businessman
President of TP Mazembe

Moïse Katumbi Chapwe (born December 28, 1964) is a Congolese politician and businessman. He was the Governor of the Katanga Province, located in the southern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, from 2007 to September 2015. He was a member of the People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD) until September 2015. He has been described by The Economist as "probably the second most powerful man in the Democratic Republic of Congo after the president, Joseph Kabila".[2] Jeune Afrique named him "African of the Year" in 2015.[3]

Background and personal life[edit]

Moïse Katumbi was born on December 28, 1964 to a Congolese mother and a Greek father, Nissim Soriano.[4] Katumbi's father, a Greek Sephardic Jew, fled Rhodes Island in 1938 with his two sisters after the introduction by the Italian fascist regime of the discriminatory Racial Laws (Rhodes was under Italian occupation since 1912). He settled in Katanga, a province of the Congo, which was a Belgian colony at the time.[5][6] Katumbi's mother was of Kazembe royalty of Lunda People of Congo and Zambia and his grandfather was Mwata Kazembe XIV.(Chief of Lunda Kingdom)[6][7] The family adopted the name Katumbi from a great grandfather on his mother’s side.[8] Katumbi grew up in the village of Kashobwe in the Congo[9] near Lake Mweru near the border of Zambia. His father was involved in the fishing trade.[4][6]

Katumbi studied at the Kiwele school of Lubumbashi and the Kapolowe mission.[10] He is married to Carine Katumbi.[11] His older half-brother is Raphael Katebe Katoto, a businessman and retired politician who was a member of RCD-Goma[12] and led a political party that opposed Congolese president Joseph Kabila in 2006.[7][13]

Katumbi is one of the wealthiest people in the DRC.[14][15] He has been the subject of two documentaries by director Thierry Michel: Katanga Business[4] and The Irresistible Rise of Moïse Katumbi.[16]

Private career[edit]

Katumbi's career began in the fishing industry when he was 13.[8] He sold salted and fresh fish to the state-owned mining company Gécamines.[4][17]

In 1987, he created the holding company Etablissement Katumbi to aggregate all of his business activities including mining, transportation, and food processing.[4]

Katumbi founded MCK (Mining Company Katanga) in 1997, which specialized in mining and logistics and subcontracted for mining companies in the region, including Gécamines.[3][4][15] By 2015, the company had grown to 1900 employees and was a leading mining company in the country.[3] French company Necotrans bought MCK in November 2015 for an undisclosed amount.[3]

Around 2000, during the Second Congo War, Katumbi moved to Zambia, where he had business ties in transportation. He returned to the DRC in 2003 by invitation from President Kabila, who urged Katumbi to help fix the mining industry in Katanga.[13][17]


Since 1997, Katumbi has been the president of the football team TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi.[18] The team has won the CAF Champions League title five times, including 2009, 2010, and 2015, and became the first African team to play in the FIFA Club World Cup finals in 2010.[19][20]

Katumbi has invested heavily in the team and been credited by the media and public as one of the reasons for the club’s success.[7][19] Under his tenure, the team has recruited players from Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Ghana, and Zambia, and retained local players by paying the highest wages for players in Africa.[21][22] Katumbi invested $35 million in building the team a stadium which was completed in 2011.[2][19]

Katumbi began a football academy in 2012 as a social program to engage and train young Congolese people in the province of Katanga.[14][23] In 2015, 2,000 young men were enrolled in the academy.[19]

In 2012, Katumbi was elected to the FIFA strategic commission.[24] In 2013, he was elected to the Africa Cup of Nations organizing committee, which he is slated to chair until 2017.[25] He has also served on the marketing committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) since 2009.[24]

Political career[edit]

In 2006, Katumbi was elected as a deputy in the National Assembly.[7][13] He was elected as the first democratically-elected Governor of the Katanga Province in January 2007, receiving 94 votes out of 102.[8][10]

Katumbi's governance has been credited with bringing economic revival to the province through developing infrastructure, encouraging foreign investment with tax breaks and reduced government procedures, and targeting corruption.[18][26][27] Through Katumbi's efforts as governor, local taxes increased from $80 million in 2007 to more than $3 billion in 2014.[27][28] Annual revenues increased from 100 million in 2007 to 1.5 billion by 2013.[17]

Shortly after he took office as governor, Katumbi implemented an export ban for raw minerals, including cobalt, forcing major mining companies to either build processing plants in the province or pay a tax on the exported concentrate.[13][27][29] Under Katumbi, copper production increased from 8,000 metric tons in 2006 to more than 1 million tons in 2014.[28]

Along with mining, Katumbi focused on expanding other areas of the province's economy including the service industry, energy and agriculture.[8] He offered both free farmland and tax breaks for farmers to encourage food production. Reliance on imported food decreased 68% between 2006 and 2011. In 2014, the amount of food grown locally had tripled.[28]

The accomplishments of his administration included improving travel and commerce through the building or rebuilding more than 1,500 kilometers (approximately 30%) of roads and the increase in other infrastructure, including bridges, hospitals and schools. Access to clean water rose from 3% to 67% between 2007 and 2013.[8][17] Additionally, within 6 years, the number of children attending school increased from 400,000 in 2007 to 3 million in 2014.[13][17][28] The number of girls enrolled in school tripled.[17] Worker-focused initiatives included encouraging local mining companies to invest in growing crops for their employees and the banning of "unnecessary dismissal of employees".[13]

In September 2015, Katumbi resigned as governor and from his political party, the People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy.[2][30] On 22nd June 2016, he was convicted, in absentia, of selling a house that was not his and sentenced to 36 months in jail. This was seen as part of President Joseph Kabila's attempts to hold on to power.[31]


In 2006 and 2011, Katumbi supported Joseph Kabila's campaigns to run for President of the Democratic Republic of Congo.[32] However, Katumbi publicly distanced himself from Kabila in 2015.[33]

Katumbi has been outspoken about his belief that President Kabila should follow the country's constitution and step down as president in 2016.[15] In January 2016, Katumbi joined other high-profile Congolese figures in a coalition dubbed "Front Citoyen 2016". The entity aims to protect the constitution and ensure that the 2016 presidential elections take place.[34]

He is against Katanga secession from Congo, which is supported by a section of the province's population.[7][10]

Katumbi has frequently said that he prefers his private career to politics.[2][17]

Public perception[edit]

Katumbi is generally viewed positively both in Katanga Province and nationally for both his development of the Katanga region and as president of TP Mazembe.[27] He is known for being generous, giving money directly to those who ask [4][17] and investing his own funds in social causes.[8]

The media has described Katumbi's public perception as being a "self-made man"[20][28] and a "man of the people".[18] In 2011, nearly one million people signed a petition asking Katumbi to remain governor after he said he planned to quit.[17]

It has been alleged that Katumbi engaged in illegal business practices, including embezzlement, prior to becoming governor.[2][27] Katumbi has admitted that he participated out of necessity in Congo's corrupt business system,[27] but maintains that he has only fought corruption since taking office and that money was not a motivation for entering politics.[2][17]

In 2012 he was named one of "The 50 most influential Africans" by The Africa Report.[35] Jeune Afrique named him "African of the Year" in 2015.[3]


  1. ^ "Matata III: M.Katumbi pas d'accord avec J. Kabila sur le choix d'un ministre". 7 sur 7. 28 September 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "An old ally of Joseph Kabila leaves the ruling party". The Economist. 6 October 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Necotrans acquired an important company of Moses Katumbi". Jeune Afrique. 9 November 2015. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Collete Braeckman (6 May 2009). "Moses Katumbi. Katanga Champion". Courrier International. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  5. ^ Anver Versi (4 April 2013). "Katumbi: The Moses of Katanga". African Business. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c David M. Gordon (2006). Nachituti's Gift: Economy, Society, and Environment in Central Africa. University of Wisconsin Press. p. 91. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Katrina Manson (24 November 2010). "Congo copperlands boss prefers business to politics". Reuters. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f Paul Trustfull. "Moïse Katumbi Chapwe: A Man the West Would Love To Do Business With". Forbes Custom. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  9. ^ Willy Kabwe (6 July 2008). "The governor of the province of Katanga, Moïse Katumbi, escapes an attack in Kashobwe". Digital Congo TV. Retrieved 25 February 2016. 
  10. ^ a b c Denis Kayenge (2014). "Portrait of Moise Katumbi Chapwe". Enews24. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  11. ^ "Mining firms fear civil strife in Katanga". African Intelligence. 13 January 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2016. The governor, whose wife Carine is increasingly influential, can also… 
  12. ^ Pierre Boisselet (8 October 2015). "DRC: how far will Moses Katumbi?". Jeune Afrique. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f Thomas Wilson (10 November 2015). "Soccer-Loving Congolese Businessman Eyes Run for Presidency". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  14. ^ a b Jack Bell (17 December 2010). "TP Mazembe Surprises the World, Not Itself". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  15. ^ a b c Aaron Ross (11 August 2015). "Millionaire governor gears up for 2016 Congo election bid". Reuters. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  16. ^ Debashine Thangevelo (21 July 2014). "Pay channel brings Diff into your home". Independent Online. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Katumbi: The Moses of Katanga". African Business. 4 April 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  18. ^ a b c Bienvenu-Marie Bakumanya (18 November 2015). "Is Moise Katumbi eyeing DR Congo presidency?". Ghana Web. 
  19. ^ a b c d Yomi Kazeem (11 November 2015). "Kings of Africa: How Moise Katumbi Redefined Congolese Football Club TP Mazembe". Ventures Africa. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  20. ^ a b Tom Hayes (25 January 2011). "Moise Katumbi: Football team owner determined to rebuild Congo". CNN: African Voices. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  21. ^ James Melik (17 December 2010). "Investment in TP Mazembe pays dividends". BBC News. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  22. ^ "TP Mazembe's dreams of another final are extinguished". Ghana Web. 14 December 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2016. 
  23. ^ "TP Mazembe owner sponsors Kotoko academy project with US$ 100,000". Ghana Soccernet. 23 October 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2016. 
  24. ^ a b "Moses Katumbi elected member of the Strategic Committee of FIFA". Radio Okapi. 6 January 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  25. ^ "Organizing Committee of AFCON: the Chairman reappointed". TP Mazembe. 5 June 2015. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  26. ^ Peter Adamu (10 June 2015). "Kabila's "Decoupage": An Aim at Moise Katumbi's Rising Popularity". Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  27. ^ a b c d e f "Province of promise: the mission of Moise Katumbi". BusinessDay. 15 October 2008. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  28. ^ a b c d e Eva M. Clayton (14 August 2014). "Moïse Katumbi: New African Leadership". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  29. ^ Michael J Kavanaugh (25 July 2013). "Congo Raises Tax on Copper, Cobalt Concentrates by Two-Thirds". Bloomberg. Retrieved 25 February 2016. 
  30. ^ Thomas Wilson (12 November 2015). "Congolese Opposition Mulls Katumbi as Presidential Candidate,". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  31. ^ "Congo's president jails his rival". The Economist. 27 June 2016. Retrieved 6 July 2016. 
  32. ^ "- Www.LiveCongo.Com - Tout le Congo en Live !!! -". Retrieved 2015-09-16. 
  33. ^ "Powerful governor of Congo's copper-rich Katanga province resigns". News Yahoo. 30 September 2015. 
  34. ^ Claire Rainfroy (4 January 2016). "DRC: Moses Katumbi officially announces his support to the citizen Front 2016". Jeune Afrique. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
  35. ^ "The 50 most influential Africans: Moïse Katumbi Chapwe". The Africa Report. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2016.