Albert Yuma Removed as Head of Congo’s State-Run Mining Company
December 3, 2021 (Washington, DC) – Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Felix Tshisekedi today announced the removal of Albert Yuma from his position as board chairman of the state mining company Gécamines.
The announcement comes in the immediate wake of multiple investigative reports, including a 90-page report this week by The Sentry, “The Backchannel: State Capture and Bribery in Congo’s Deal of the Century.” The Sentry’s report details how critical funds in a massive minerals-for-infrastructure deal meant to rebuild roads, hospitals, and schools wound up in the pockets of former DRC President Joseph Kabila’s inner circle.
J.R. Mailey, Director of Investigations at The Sentry, said: “Removing Albert Yuma from his post at Gécamines is an initial step toward acknowledging his role in maintaining the kleptocratic system in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Real accountability will require a formal investigation and, if appropriate, formal charges. More importantly, this move will prove superficial if the country’s government does not address the systemic deficiencies that allowed for corruption and poor governance for decades.”
John Dell’Osso, Senior Investigator at The Sentry, said: “The state-run mining company Gécamines is a significant source of potential revenue for the government but under Albert Yuma’s leadership it has been an epicenter of corruption. Yuma has been a near-constant concern in the domestic and international fight against corruption. His removal from his post at Gécamines, which follows on the heels of his removal from a powerful post at the central bank, is a promising step for transparency and good governance.”
Douglas Gillison, Senior Investigator at the Sentry, said: “Albert Yuma, one of the architects of Kabila’s kleptocracy, may have been booted from the leadership of the state mining company but the system of embezzlement, plunder, and corruption he helped create remains entrenched. More than simply making heads roll, Congolese authorities should investigate the shocking facts brought to light this week by our investigations and enforce all applicable laws as warranted.”
The Sentry’s investigative findings were among an array of investigative reports released in the “Congo Hold-up” series by an international consortium of non-profit organizations and media outlets. The millions of leaked bank records obtained by the Platform to Protect Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) and the French news group Mediapart and shared with The Sentry and other consortium partners by PPLAAF and European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) represent the largest confidential data leak in African history.
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