The Appeal Court of Gombe in Kinshasa has sentenced Vital Kamerhe, Chief of Staff of President Felix Tshisekedi, to 20 years of forced labour for embezzling USD48 million.
In addition to that the court also slapped Kamerhe with a 10 year force labour sentence for diverting USD2 million, 2 years forced labour judgement for diverting another USD1,5 million and a 15 year prison sentence for corruption.
Kamerhe will also be denied eligibility to vote for the next 10 years, after serving his sentences.
The court also ordered the seizure of Kamerhe’s properties.
Meanwhile his co-accused Samih Jammal was given a 30 year sentence of forced labour, and a 15 year prison sentence on charges of corruption. Jammal, a Lebanese national, will also be required to leave the Congolese territory upon completing his sentences.
Another of Kamerhe’s co-accused Jeannot Muhima, who was the head of import and export at the Presidency, was given a 2 year labour force sentencing.
The court then targeted members of Kamerhe’s family; ordering the confiscations of money in the bank accounts and seizures of properties belonging to Amida Shatur (Kamerhe’s wife), Amida’s daughter Soraya Mpiana and Kemerhe’s nephew Daniel Massaro Nkingi.
The verdict was handed over on the 20th of June 2020, in the presence of Kamerhe and Jammal.
According to the Judge President, there was overwhelming evidence pointing to the fact that Kamerhe had colluded with Jammal to misappropriate funds from the State .
The Judge argued that Kamerhe had intentionally violated the Public Procurement Regulations to award the USD57 million contract to Samih Jammal’s company; to top it all there was no proof indicating that the 3000 prefab houses had been built as agreed on the contract.
Kamerhe and his co-accused had been standing trial for embezzling USD57 million meant to build prefab houses for the military and police personnel. The project was part of President Felix Tshisekedi’s 100 DAYS EMERGENCY PROGRAM.
After visiting various development sites to evaluate how his EMERGENCY PROGRAM was evolving, President Felix Tshisekedi was angered by the lack of progress and ordered a judicial investigation; this then led to his Chief of Staff being arrested and face charges.