Congo arrests opposition leader Kabund


FILE PHOTO: 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, January 8, 2019. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

KINSHASA (Reuters) - 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.

The justice ministry could not be reached for comment and a spokesperson for the government declined to comment.

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.

(Reporting by Stanis Bujakera; Writing by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!
   

Next In World

Blast at education institute in Afghan capital causes casualties
Energy crisis sires new European order: a strong Italy and ailing Germany
As Latvia goes to polls, ethnic Russian population fears losing identity
Hurricane Ian veers toward Carolinas after pummeling Florida
As Australia calls end to COVID emergency response, doctors warn of risk to public
Uzbekistan says won't deport Russians fleeing conscription
Mom used phone app to track carjacker accused of pointing gun at teen daughter, US feds say
Brazil's Lula, Bolsonaro trade graft accusations in final debate
Google shutting down cloud gaming service Stadia
London coroner to review Instagram and Pinterest role in British teen’s suicide

Others Also Read