Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi. (Ludovic Marin/AFP)

Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi. (Ludovic Marin/AFP)

  • Former rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba has been moved from the DRC’s defence ministry to the transport portfolio.
  • It took President Felix Tshisekedi five months to form a cabinet as his coalition fought for positions.
  • The DRC now has a female prime minister and 17 women in its 54-member cabinet. 

DRC President Felix Tshisekedi has removed former rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba from the Ministry of Defence in a cabinet reshuffle, but has retained him as one of six deputy prime ministers.

That has him reporting to Prime Minister Judith Suminwa Tuluka, along with the rest of the all-male deputy prime ministers. 

Of the 10 provincial ministers, four are women, and in the 54-member cabinet there are 17 women. 

Tshisekedi won the presidential elections in December last year with a 70% margin but had, until this week, failed to form a cabinet after his coalition, the Sacred Union of the Nation, struggled to compromise for positions.

Tshisekedi also dropped Nicolas Kazadi his finance minister of three years.

READ | At least 12 killed in bomb attacks on eastern DR Congo displacement camps

Kazadi is banned from travelling out of Kinshasa because he faces a fraud charge. He is linked to a probe relating to a tender for the acquisition and installation of 2 594 solar streetlights and the drilling of 1 000 boreholes countrywide in 2021.

In a statement on X (formerly Twitter), Kazadi accepted that he had retired in preference of Doudou Fwamba, a senior public administration executive and an influential member of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), the presidential party.

Vital Kamerhe, a former chief of staff of Tshisekedi who was convicted in 2020 of the embezzlement of almost R900 million, bounced back to become the speaker of parliament.

Ten days ago, Kamerhe survived an attack that was later reported as a foiled coup.

But it is Bemba’s replacement that caught many an eye.

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From the defence ministry, he will now be deployed in the transport portfolio.

The new defence minister is Guy Mwadiamvita, who has been with the UDPS since it was run by the late Etienne Tshisekedi, the current president’s father.

Bemba was dropped into the defence ministry in March last year.

During his time as a rebel leader, he founded and led the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo, which fought during the Second Congo War, backed by Rwanda, having first approached Uganda.

The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

By Dr Mercy Alu

I am a mother, HR consultant, author, Goodwill Ambassador with Globcal (a partner with UN on SDG's in Africa), coordinator with International Association of African Authors/Scholars, a songwriter/recording artist, researcher, and social anthropologist of sorts! I believe we should all live our best lives, and enjoy helping organizations and individuals perform better. I and my guest authors love to share information about the world around us; African events & Entertainment, plus lots of good information about Health, Wellness, Family, Book Publishing, Business, Relationships, Culture, Folk Stories, and much more. I speak several languages including French and Igbo (a West African Language). I enjoy research, writing, reading, singing and finding out lots of things about, well, lots of things! Knowledge is power. So information and knowledge gained from experiences, observation, all flavor the things I write about in the exciting blog portion of this website. Feel free to drop me a line or two, I also want to hear from you!

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