A top adviser to Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi has lost credibility over secret records of a corruption deal. “In return for a percentage, I offer you security.” The man has since resigned.
Vidiye Tshimanga is a Congolese businessman and politician who has served as Special Adviser to Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi since 2019. He also served as a campaign spokesperson for Tshisekedi in the run-up to the 2018 presidential election. This summer, a man and a woman reached out to Tshimanga and introduced themselves as representatives of the Hong Kong Company. that wanted to invest in Congolese mining A Zoom talk was held and in July there was also a meeting at Hide in London’s Michelin restaurant.
During the talks, Chimanga suggests offering guarantees “in return for a percentage” that the investment will go smoothly. “If we work together, I’ll get the percentage of the investment. I’m not asking this because I have a pretty face, but because I can give you protection. I can make sure that you don’t lose your investment, that you don’t have to pay weekly or monthly kickbacks and that we don’t block your money in National Bank We can also ensure that you get your licenses within the normal period without the Minister asking you for an additional 2 million bribes.
Eating with the boss
The presidential advisor also suggests that investments go through tax havens such as Mauritius, Singapore, the Isle of Man or Hong Kong where I have many companies. Not in my name of course, but in the name of the broker I’m checking out.
During the talks, Chimanga repeatedly emphasized that he was the right-hand man of President Tshisekedi. “I, he’s the boss. I am very close to the president, I am a relative, and I also financed his campaign. When I ask the boss about something, he does. I must offer protection: for myself, of course, but first of all for the boss. The boss himself can not do business. In another conversation, he returned to that special relationship: “I’ve known the president since 2014, we’re very close. He ate with me regularly. Our women are also very good friends.”
The man and woman recorded all conversations with Tshimanga and distributed them via Telegram this week. They protected their true identity. They do not appear in the recordings themselves and their voices are distorted as well. It is not clear what intentions and who fell into the trap of the presidential adviser. CK Hutchison, the Hong Kong company the couple claimed to work for, has denied any involvement with her.
Occupational trauma surgery
According to the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, this is a professional and costly process of destruction. The client may be a political opponent, or it may be another unwelcome investor within Tshisekedi’s entourage.
Meanwhile, Chimanga himself confirmed the authenticity of the photos, but said he had been deceived by political opponents who were upset with the Congolese government’s policies. He added that he had no ill intentions and was misunderstood due to his lack of knowledge of the English language.
This week during an interview with journalists from a Swiss newspaper Low Temps In Paris, he also shared that during the conversations he realized he had been cheated and then started cheating “to see how far this man and that woman would go.” In hidden camera conversations, Chimanga says he controls Copamin, a mining company that immediately won three licenses to mine raw materials just weeks after Tshisekedi was sworn in. This is an exceptionally short term for the Congo.
But in the end, the video forced him to resign after a few days. In his resignation letter, he wrote that his comments were taken out of context but that he is resigning “for ethical reasons”.
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