DR Congo arrests opposition leader Jean-Marc Kabund

Jean-Marc Kabund, secretary general of Congolese main opposition party the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) speaks during a press conference in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.

A former right-hand man of Democratic Republic of Congo’s president and now opposition leader, Jean-Marc Kabund, was arrested on Tuesday, his lawyer said, during controversy over a remark about his onetime boss.

The former vice president of parliament and current lawmaker had a falling out with President Felix Tshisekedi earlier this year, after which he launched his own political party.

He has been under investigation in recent weeks on charges that authorities have not specified.

His lawyers say he is accused of contempt of the head of state after a speech calling him “a danger”.

Kabund’s lawyer Henriette Bongwalanga said he was arrested on Tuesday after a hearing at the attorney general’s office.

“They did not respect the procedure. Today they came after the hearing and (arrested) him despite his (parliamentary) immunity,” she said.

A police source said Kabund had been taken to Makala Central Prison in Congo’s capital Kinshasa.

Kabund was a leading figure behind Tshisekedi’s rise to power and their fallout has highlighted emerging fault-lines in the country’s leadership. This could spell uncertainty for the future of the ruling Sacred Union coalition as the 2023 presidential election nears, political analysts have said.

In a statement about the proceedings last week, Kabund said the investigation against him was proof that Congolese institutions were being exploited to serve political interests.

“Fighting the Tshisekedi regime is an absolute necessity for me, no matter the price to be paid,” he wrote on Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s