The Minister of Justice of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Célestin Tunda Ya Kasende, announced his resignation on Saturday, two weeks after his brief arrest in the middle of a political crisis in the ruling coalition.
Tunda Ya Kasende has tendered his resignation to Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba, after making “a personal review of the situation,” he said.
“On this pathetic occasion, I was able to present to the head of government all my thanks, and my thanks also to the President of the Republic,” he added in a video message disseminated to the press.
“I am leaving the government with the conviction that my action within the Ministry of Justice has brought a stone to the consolidation of the rule of law in our country,” he concluded.
This is the first resignation from the coalition government which brings together supporters of the President of the Republic Félix Tshisekedi, and his predecessor, Joseph Kabila.
This bloated government was announced on August 26, after eight months of negotiations between MM. Tshisekedi, winner of the presidential election of December 30, 2018, and Kabila, who had left office with a comfortable majority in Parliament.
A lawyer by profession, Mr. Tunda Ya Kasende is a member of the Common Front for the Congo (FCC, pro-Kabila), like the majority of the 67 members of the government.
Two weeks ago, Mr. Tunda Ya Kasende was arrested by the police at his home and taken to the prosecution where he was heard for a few hours before being released.
The day before in the Council of Ministers, President Tshisekedi had severely criticized him for having transmitted to the National Assembly the government’s opinion on three very controversial legislative proposals, without consulting anyone.
A “personal initiative”, noted the report of the Council of Ministers.
His brief arrest had been strongly denounced by supporters of Mr. Kabila.