News24

Top Gabon official killed

2009-11-26 22:14

Libreville - Unidentified killers have murdered Rene Ziza, who was in charge of all Gabon's maritime transport, the General Council of Shippers (CGC), which he headed, announced on Thursday.

"The brutal death of Rene Ziza took place on November 25 after an aggression [fight] at around 20:30, using a hand-held weapon in the centre of Libreville," said a statement published by the CGC.

Ziza was among the men named by the new President Ali Bongo Ondimba who were expected to bring what the Gabonese media calls a "tsunami" to the equatorial African country's administration, fighting privilege and corruption.

Prime Minister Paul Biyoghe Mba said that an inquiry had started and that those who killed Ziza would be "severely punished".

Bongo vows to act against corruption

An advisor to Bongo said the president was "following the affair particularly closely".

Bongo was sworn in last month and has vowed to take steps to deal with the corruption that became endemic to the administration during the 41 years in power of his father, Omar Bongo Ondimba, who died in June.

Local journalists said that Ziza took courageous measures when he was named to head the CGC and removed advantages for certain beneficiaries of the system, but it was not certain that he was killed on account of his work.

The "first decisions" of the new director-general were still on the CGC website, showing that he had cancelled a number of contracts and was planning on a method of "electronic identification and tracking of cargos (...) in light of confusion currently observed in the network of owners and in order to bring serenity and ensure a smoother running of traffic".
 

AFP