DRC transfers mining royalties to Kabila ally - NGO

2016-11-16 19:01
Joseph Kabila. (File: AFP)

Joseph Kabila. (File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kinshasa - The Democratic Republic of Congo's state mining firm has signed away the royalties from the country's most lucrative mining project to a company owned by a close friend of President Joseph Kabila, Global Witness said on Tuesday.

The NGO, which fights corruption and environmental and rights abuses, said Gecamines signed away royalties from Swiss mining giant Glencore for a copper project in the country's southeast to an anonymous Cayman Islands company called Africa Horizons Investment Limited.

It said the January 2015 contract "does not explain what, if anything, Congo's state mining company received in compensation for handing over these rights" from the Kamoto mines.

"The royalties could generate as much as $880m - more than Congo's annual health spending," Global Witness said.

Africa Horizons is owned by Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler, who Global Witness said was involved in murky mining deals in DRC and was Kabila's close friend.

Suspicious deals 

"It's troubling that the state miner Gecamines has signed away rights to potentially huge flows of cash that should go towards building Congo's future," Global Witness campaigner Pete Jones said.

"It's even worse that it has handed them to this unknown, anonymous company belonging to an individual with a track record of suspicious deals," he added.

Jones said the contract "provides no reason for Gecamines giving away these royalties".

"It is imperative that Gecamines and Gertler explain what is behind this agreement. If they can't show that this is a good deal for Congo, there should be an investigation into what's really behind the agreement," he said.

Gertler's Fleurette group has denied the accusations and Gecamines director general Deogratias Ngele Masudi told AFP that the firm "does not comment on statements by NGOs even if they are international ones".

Glencore, in an e-mail to AFP, simply said it was "not involved in the negotiations between Gecamines and Africa Horizons".

DRC, a former Belgian territory, has one of Africa's richest mineral reserves but has been wracked by unrest, misrule and corruption since independence.

Kabila took power in 2001, 10 days after the assassination of his father, the then-president, Laurent Kabila.

Read more on:    laurent kabila  |  joseph kabila  |  drc  |  central africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.