Bank Revelations that Weaken DRC’s President’s Hold on Power
I am one of the first whistleblowers in my country to be supported by PPLAAF. I am very happy with the legal protection and above all, the moral comfort it has given me. The action and the fight that I lead is the establishment of democracy and the rule of law in my country the Democratic Republic of Congo. William Bourdon is a visionary who understood the need for the protection of whistleblowers in the process of democratization of African countries, a guarantee of stability and revival of economic development.
“The greed of some politicians is so huge that they have taken Congo hostage. People are dying and are being tortured. Many cannot speak anymore,” Jean-Jacques Lumumba told in an interview for Deutsche Welle “We have returned to dictatorship because it is all about sustaining power.”
Lumumba served as the head of the credit department at the Congolese BGFI Bank. In 2016, Lumumba started noticing shady activities: suspicious transactions of dozens of millions of dollars between President Kabila’s family-controlled bank and organizations with close ties to the president. A few months after his suspicions begun, Lumumba alerted his superiors of these transactions. Threatened with a gun to stay quiet by the director of the bank, Joseph Kabila’s adopted brother, Lumumba fled his homeland and bravely revealed this massive corruption scandal.
Lumumba is the grand-nephew of one of Congo’s independence leaders Patrice Lumumba, who was executed seven months after becoming Congo’s first democratically elected leader in 1960. At barely 30, he held a comfortable position as a bank executive in one of DRC’s largest banks. It was his refusal to cooperate with the misuse of public funds that turned his life upside down. Does Lumumba regret his deed: “of course not. I did it for my country and this new generation who wants to build the Rule of Law in the DRC”, he told PPLAAF.
The Lumumba Papers
In June 2016, fearing for his life, Lumumba fled to Europe. In October, Lumumba resigned officially from his job. Shortly afterward, agents from intelligence agencies showed up at his house but his family was already hidden elsewhere. His family later found a way out of the country and met him in Europe.
In October 2016, The Belgian newspaper Le Soir published an in-depth article on suspicious activities of BGFI DRC largely based on internal documents disclosed by Lumumba. The documents reveal the bank’s involvement in corruption, illegal financing, and embezzlement. The papers also show, suspicious transactions between the BGFI and the The Independent National Electoral Commission
Since January 2017, PPLAAF has been working closely with Lumumba, providing him with pro-bono legal counsel, analyzing and researching the documents he provided, and using forensic researchers to discover more corruption affairs embedded in President Kabila’s ventures
Jean-Jacques Lumumba now lives and works in European exile. He is fighting for the rule of law in his country and for the Democratic Republic of the Congo to know peaceful and democratic times.
For additional information:
- The Lumumba Papers: from bank statements to President Kabila’s wild animals, July 12 th , 2017
- RDC : Nouvelles révélations sur des sociétés appartenant à des proches de Kabila, July 12th, 2017
- Corruption au Congo : les preuves qui accablent le régime Kabila, Xavier Counasse and Collette Braeckman, October 19th, 2016
- “With His Family’s Fortune at Stake, President Kabila Digs In”, Michael Kavanagh, Thomas Wilson and Franz Wild, December 15 th , 2016
- RDC: Jean-Jacques Lumumba, le lanceur d’alerte dont le clan Kabila se serait bien passé, se confie, Pierre Boisselet, December 22nd, 2016
- Jean-Jacques Lumumba : La BGFI n’a pas contredit un mot des documents que j’ai livrés, December 22nd, 2016
- Jeune Congolais, levons-nous !, Jean-Jacques Lumumba, Floribert Anzuluni, Juin 30th 2017
- « Affaire BGFI : Deux avocats pour Jean-Jacques Lumumba, July 4th, 2017
- Le Monde:
- Jean-Jacques Lumuma, banquier congolais exilé et dénonciateur du système Kabila, Xavier Monnier, December 22nd, 2016
- Au Cap, le mystérieux yacht de luxe des partenaires d’affaires du président Kabila, Xavier Monnier, Khadija Sharife, John Grobler, July 11th, 2017
- Giraffes, buffles et zèbres ou les lubies animalières de Joseph Kabila, Khadija Sharife and John Grobler, July 13 th , 2017
- “DRC Company Promised Cheap Food, Delivers Stolen Money”, Khadija Sharife and John Grobler, November 8 th , 2017
La Libre Afrique:
- RDC: Jean-Jacques Lumumba: “N’attendons plus un homme providentiel, Marie-France Cros, November 20th, 2017