KINSHASA (Reuters) – The top of Democratic Republic of Congo’s public funds watchdog was detained for questioning for a number of hours on Saturday, in what he mentioned was retaliation for investigations by his workplace into spending by senior authorities officers.
Sylvain Kasongo, the capital Kinshasa’s police chief, confirmed to Reuters that Inspector Common of Funds Victor Batubenga and considered one of his colleagues had been detained for a number of hours earlier than being launched.
He mentioned the arrests have been for “issues of widespread regulation”, however declined to elaborate.
Batubenga’s workplace has been investigating a $100 million line of credit score opened in Might by the central financial institution on the instruction of the interim economic system minister to reimburse gas distributors, in response to a report his workplace issued in July.
It was additionally ordered by the Nationwide Intelligence Company final month to audit spending by the interim authorities in place since President Felix Tshisekedi’s inauguration in January.
Since taking workplace, Tshisekedi has promised to scrub up corruption which he mentioned proliferated throughout his predecessor Joseph Kabila’s 18-year tenure.
Civil society teams, nonetheless, have accused his administration of profligate spending, expenses he has denied.
In an interview with Radio France Internationale, Batubenga mentioned that after he and a colleague have been arrested by the police, he was held by an aide to Tshisekedi’s nationwide safety advisor, Francois Beya.
“The aide (to Beya) … mentioned my work was inflicting issues,” Batubenga mentioned. He mentioned the aide additionally made threats in opposition to him and his household.
Neither Beya nor Tshisekedi’s spokesman might be instantly reached for remark.
The interim cupboard consists largely of holdovers from Kabila’s ultimate authorities. New minister have been lastly named final week and are anticipated to be sworn on this week.
The report by Batubenga’s auditors in July discovered that interim Financial system Minister Henri Yav had ordered 15% of the $100 million line of credit score to be paid right into a checking account managed by the federal government committee that displays gas costs.
It mentioned that cash “didn’t profit the state” and referred to as on the federal government to clarify how the cash was used.
Yav was not instantly accessible for remark.
The intelligence company’s order final month mentioned the audit of presidency spending since January was required “for pressing causes of state safety”, with out elaborating.
Reporting by Stanis Bujakera; Extra reporting and writing by Aaron Ross; Enhancing by Raissa Kasolowsky