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Cablegate: Gdrc-Owned and Leased-Properties

VZCZCXYZ0008
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKI #1113 3551226
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 211226Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0470
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0814

UNCLAS KINSHASA 001113

DEPT FOR DS/OFM, AF/EX, AF/C

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OFDP PREL CG
SUBJECT: GDRC-OWNED AND LEASED-PROPERTIES
IN THE UNITED STATES

REF: A. STATE 125952
B. STATE 83255
C. KINSHASA 758
D. SCOTT-GARVELINK E-MAIL OF 11/14/2009
E. USUN 264
F. 08 STATE 125526

1. (SBU) Summary: Ambassador delivered demarche per ref (A) to
Minister of Foreign Affairs on December 17. Foreign Minister
replied he was aware of the untenable condition of the GDRC
properties in Washington and had been directed by President Kabila
to take immediate action to correct deficiencies. He also
acknowledged rental arrears owed by GDRC Mission to the UN in New
York and stated he had been in touch with the Prime Minister's
office regarding payment. Although impossible to predict, GDRC may
send allocated money to get through the immediate crisis but is
unlikely to finish repairs or pay off all arrears at this time. End
summary.

2. (U) Per ref (A) Ambassador Garvelink met with Foreign Minister
Alexis Thambwe Mwanke December 17 to deliver talking points on the
condition of the three GDRC properties in Washington and on rental
arrears at DRCUN in New York. Ambassador was accompanied by
management counselor, as well as political counselor (meeting also
dealt with political issues reported on via septel).

Washington properties
---------------------

3. (U) Foreign Minister responded he had recently spoken to
Congolese ambassador to the U.S. Faida Mitufu about the problem, and
that President Kabila is also aware of this matter and has directed
that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs give priority to renovating the
dilapidated properties.

4. (U) Minister also said he has already discussed the issue of
funding with Prime Minister Adolphe Muzito and that the PM told him
funding will be made available soon. The MFA, Thambwe said, has
directed Ambassador Mutifu to contact several contractors to get
bids for repairing the properties and he said he expects renovations
to begin in early February.
Throughout the meeting Tambwe emphasized he is aware that the
condition of the GDRC structures in Washington is unsuitable for the
area, and he will send a note verbale to Ambassador Garvelink with
the specifics concerning the renovation as soon as he has the
details.

DRCUN rental arrears
--------------------

5. (U) On the subject of rental arrears by the GDRC Mission to
USUN, the FM acknowledged the $140,000 owed the landlord and stated
that his government is currently in the process of lifting a hold on
this payment which had been held up during recent negotiations with
the IMF. The Foreign Minister said that he would contact the Prime
Minister immediately to ensure that the money will be freed up, and
he would include this information in the same note verbale along
with the Washington property renovation details.

5. (SBU) Comment: The message has been delivered, but whether
action will be taken or not remains to be seen. The GDRC operates
on the squeaky wheel principle, and may throw just enough money at
these problems to get beyond the current crisis, but probably not
enough to complete the projects or satisfy all rental arrears.

GARVELINK

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