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Cablegate: Leadership Gap in Economic Ministries

VZCZCXRO0888
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1658 2991508
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 261508Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5045
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

UNCLAS KINSHASA 001658

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EFIN ECON PINR PGOV PDEM KCOR CG ELECTIONS
SUBJECT: LEADERSHIP GAP IN ECONOMIC MINISTRIES

REF: A. KINSHASA 1616
B. KINSHASA 1465
C. KINSHASA 1448

1. (SBU) In its final months, the transitional government is
facing a large economic leadership void. On October 14 a
presidential decree announced several new ministers and vice
ministers, as well as the resignation of numerous parastatal
managers. All positions affected are held by factions of the
transitional government other than those loyal to President
Kabila, as his factions' nominees were approved October 11
(reftel A). All the ministry changes are to fill vacancies
left by those elected to the National Assembly, as noted in
reftel B. While some of the resigning parastatal officials
are also accepting National Assembly seats, some removals
appear to be to create vacancies that political factions can
give out as last-minute political plums. These moves will
cost the GDRC significant sums it can ill afford.

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2. (U) The list of appointments and resignations is
noteworthy more for its size and impact than for the
inclusion of any particular person. The decree names 16 new
ministers (of 36 ministries) and 12 vice ministers, and
announces the resignation of 26 managers from 21 parastatals
(reftel A). When combined with October 10 nominations, the
changes impact all but one of the ten Economic-Financial
Commission (EcoFin) ministries under Vice President
Jean-Pierre Bemba's responsibility. (The lone exception is
the Ministry of Trade,)

3. (U) The appointees in key economic and financial
ministries:

Ministry of Plan: Minister Gerard Ntumba (MLC)
Ministry of Budget: Minister Jean-Claude Molipe (MLC)
Vice Minister Kena wa Tshimanga (RCD-G)
Ministry of Economy: Minister Moise Nyarugabo (RCD)
Ministry of Mines: Minister Mathieu Kalele Kabila
(political opposition)
Ministry of Portfolio:Minister Balamage Nkolo (RCD-G)
Vice Minister Leonard Kahenga (MLC)
Ministry of Public Administration:
Minister Charlotte Twamba Anzelani
(civil society)
Ministry of Agriculture: Minister Romain Nimy (MLC)
Ministry of Energy: Minister Augustin Ngozi Ngolu (PPRD)
Ministry of Finance: Minister Gaby Bolenge (MLC)

4. (U) Resignations among government agencies and parastatals
include: the CEEC (diamond evaluating authority), OFIDA
(customs authority), SONAS (monopoly insurance parastatal),
COHYDRO (petroleum parastatal), OCPT (Office of Post and
Telecommunications), SNEL (electricity parastatal), OKIMO
(gold mining parastatal) and REGIDESO (water authority).

5. (SBU) The changes will negatively affect already extremely
loose fiscal discipline and the DRC's over-stretched budget.
The only notable continuity is at the Ministry of Finance;
Minister Marco Banguli, who did not win a National Assembly
seat, will continue in his post, but he will have a new Vice
Minister. In addition to having lame-duck officials with
little experience, the cost of providing mandatory severance
packages to the departing officials will be high. Each is
entitled to severance compensation equal to six months
salary, plus a variety of other benefits. (Note: Ministers
official base salaries are USD 4000 per month, Vice Ministers
receive about USD 3000 per month, while the salaries of
parastatal managers are as high as USD 10,000 per month. End
note.)

6. (SBU) Comment. The last-minute reshuffling will have a
negative impact on an already shaky government budget. It
will both weaken already weak ministries and enable
appointees from the various transitional factions to grab
what they an in the final weeks of the transitional
government. End comment.
MEECE

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