DAKAR (Reuters) - Congo finally has a government after eight months of stalled negotiations between the camps of Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi and his predecessor Joseph Kabila, whom he replaced after winning an election in December.
The cabinet list released by Prime Minister Illunga Illunkamba on Monday consisted mostly of people with little or no government experience. Of the 65 ministers named in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s government, 42 — roughly two thirds — were from Kabila’s coalition while 23 were from Tshisekedi’s.
Ngoy Mukena, a long time Kabila ally and senior government figure, had been petroleum minister since late 2015 under Kabila’s previous government. In that role, the government’s own website described him as a “fervent Kabiliste”.
Before that he was Kabila’s defence minister for about nine months. Mukena is from the mineral-rich and sometimes rebellious copper-producing province of Katanga. He was a founding member and at one time secretary of Kabila’s People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD).
Before entering politics he was a professor in political philosophy at University of Lubumbashi, the capital of Katanga.
Another Kabila stalwart, Sele Yalaghuli, is the former head of Congo’s tax authority. Under his leadership tax receipts increased significantly. He was head of the cabinet under Kabila’s prime minister Matata Ponyo, who held the post from 2012-16.
He also served on the board of the African Development Bank and African Development fund in 2010 and 2011.
Willy Samsoni is a member of Kabila’s coalition and a former mines minister in the local government of Haut Katanga province. He has had virtually no previous public presence on the national scene.
Gilbert Malaba is one of President Tshisekedi’s closest allies. Until being named he was the national secretary for Tshisekedi’s Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UPDS).
Marie Nzeza takes on one of the most senior roles occupied by a female — 17 percent of posts went to female appointees. She is also one of the more than three quarters of posts that went to candidates with no previous political experience.
Nzeza was unknown in Congolese politics before the announcement.
Co-Founder of and former deputy secretary general of Kabila’s PPRD, Celestin Tunda is former parliamentarian who was elected in national legislative elections in 2006. She was also in former PM Ponyo’s government as deputy minister of foreign affairs.
BUDGET: JEAN-BAUDOUIN MAYO MAMBEKE
Taking the more junior finance role, Jean-Baudouin Mayo Mambeke is the secretary general of Union for the Congolese Nation, one of the parties in Tshekedi’s coalition.
Writing by Tim Cocks; Additional reporting by Stanys Bujakera in Kinshasa and Ed McAllister in Dakar; Editing by David Goodman