By Canisius Mushibwe
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) former Health minister Eteni Longondo, has been detained on allegations of misappropriation of funds allocated to curb coronavirus pandemic.
Longondo was first placed on provisional arrest and later transferred to prison yesterday.
“Dr. Eteni has indeed arrived here at the Makala Central Prison on the basis of a provisional arrest warrant issued by the prosecutor’s office,” a prison official who chose to be anonymous said.
In August last year, the General Inspectorate of Finance (IGF) suspected Longondo of embezzling more than seven million dollars intended for the fight against the global pandemic in the country.
This was due to a lack of supporting documents to affirm how the funds were being used or managed.
However, the former Health Minister refuted these claims, arguing that the documents were being processed for verification at the time an audit was conducted.
It is quite unfortunate and embarrassing that while Africa is trying to make strides to develop, drawbacks such as this scenario keeps coming up.
However, this is a step towards showing leaders that no one is above the law, including those in government.
Mr. Longondo is the first executive of the ruling Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) party to be arrested for embezzlement of public funds especially at a time when DRC President Felix Tshisekedi has prioritized the fight against corruption during his regime.