DRC civil society calls for judicial investigation over missing funds

Revenue collection agency questioned about US $26 million that has not been traced.

The latest EITI Report in the Democratic Republic of Congo has led to a vigourous debate about the management of the country's natural resource wealth.

The EITI Report, released early this year, disclosed sobering figures of how much the DRC government received its extractives sector. Last week, civil society in the country called for a judicial investigation of the revenue collection agency DGRAD over missing funds, that amount to over US$ 26 million.

 

See full press release below:

PRESS RELEASE NO. 0035/ASADHO/2013: "ASADHO calls on the Chief Public Prosecutor of the Republic to initiate a judicial investigation into the heads of DGRAD".

The African Association for the Defense of Human Rights, ASADHO by its initials in French, is deeply concerned at the indifference of the political and judicial authorities. The case concerns 26 million US dollars[1] which the Inspectorate-General of Finances has been unable to trace at the Directorate-General for Government and State Revenues (DGRAD).

Furthermore, the Inspectorate-General of Finances (IGF) had expressed reservations about the accuracy of the declarations issued by DGRAD during the certification process for the purpose of compiling the 2010 EITI Report. The IGF had been unable to trace over 86 million US dollars declared by the aforesaid State financial authority.

 

Following various inspection activities, and in accordance with Letter No. 06/PR/IGF/OM-31/WLTO/CMM/2013 of 12 June 2013, the IGF has traced 62,286,917.2 US dollars. A further 26,052,005.11 have not been traced to date.

 

ASADHO understands that the political and judicial authorities have not provided any information about administrative and judicial measures obliging DGRAD to explain the missing amount. Nor is there any information regarding steps to initiate any kind of judicial investigation to bring evidence against the heads of DGRAD, or of any other public body involved in receiving untraced funds.

 

ASADHO is also concerned that no administrative measures, such as suspension, have been taken against the heads of DGRAD. This is in the context of a situation that should sound warning bells among all authorities involved in the fight against bad governance.

 

In response to this situation, ASADHO recommends that:

  • the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
    • take disciplinary measures against the heads of DGRAD while waiting for the judicial process to take effect;
  • the Chief Public Prosecutor of the Republic
    • initiate a judicial investigation of the heads of DGRAD regarding the sum of over 26 million US dollars that the IGF was unable to trace;
    • inform the Executive Committee for EITI Implementation of all measures taken by the judiciary to investigate those 26 million US dollars that remain untraced;
  • the Inspectorate-General of Finances
    • provide the Chief Public Prosecutor of the Republic with all the information relating to those untraced 26 million US dollars;
  • the Chair of the Executive Committee for EITI Implementation
    • explain to the Congolese citizens the measures taken by the EITI so that the 26 million US dollars can be traced.

Kinshasa, 24 September 2013

ASADHO

For further information, please contact:
Jean Claude Katende (Lawyer): National Chairperson
Telephone: + 243 81 17 29 908
Ms Dora Zaki: National Vice Chairperson
Telephone: + 24399406131

 

[1] The 26 million dollars form part of the payments made in 2010 to DGRAD by the extractive industries. The payments were made to the State Treasury via commercial banks.