Monday, February 29, 2016

Bienvenu Okiemy: the mechanical former defender of an evil system(profile)

Bienvenu Okiemy: he is the youngest member in Denis Sassou Nguesso’s government. Until his recent appointment at the ministry of culture and arts, he was Congo’s minister of Communications and minister in charge of relations with the national assembly and government spokesman. He was born on the 14th of July 1972 in Brazzaville. Before his entry into the government, he was vice dean at the faculty of law of the Reims University, France. And he is a Barrister at the Paris bar council. He is an intelligent man and an intellectual who has authored two books and written several articles related to law, published in several journals. But he is also an opportunist to many. To his enemies and detractors, he is an opportunist who cherry picks his fights. His detractors also claim that, since he joined the government as minister of Communications, he has reneged on all what he formerly stood, for while he was in France. Bienvenu was for honesty and the rule of law, but now he has joined the camp of the dishonest and lawless, crows some of his detractors. One of such is Patrick Eric Mampouya, who is one of Congo’s famous blogger. He says that, Bienvenu Okiemy was smooth until he decided to join the Sassou Nguessos in the pillage of the country’s wealth and resources. As for Maurice Nguesso, he is of the opinion that, young people such as Bienvenu Okiemy are the only hope for his younger brother.  Bienvenu is a member of government, but he does not fanatically defend a system that has little or nothing worth defending.  He has his style which adapts to the current dispensation. He is very different from his predecessor Alain Akouala, in that, he is reactive and not proactive in the defense of the family and regime.

Perhaps he doesn’t want to suffer the same fate as his predecessor who put his life and reputation on the line to defend Denis Sassou Nguesso and his family, just to be thrown out of the government in the most ridiculous way. Alain Akouala, when he was unceremoniously dropped out of government, it was claimed that, he would go to Paris to become Congo’s ambassador, replacing longing standing Henry Lopez. In was a monumental shameful lie fabricated by people who think that, they are the demi-gods of Congo. In fact, it was just a ruse hatched out by the children of the President to show Alain Akouala the door in a subtle manner, simply because he (Alain Akouala) is bold and independent minded to their taste. And more, he is not subservient to their (children and family of the President) whims and caprices.  Bienvenu Okiemy by contrast, is doing just his job. But it has been interpreted by some members of the ruling Nguesso family and also by some zealous ministers who owe their positions to one of the children of the president that, he is not convincing enough Or doesn’t want or not fit. Bienvenu Okiemy is mechanical when it comes to defending the regime on subjects that he knows the regime and the family are legally wrong.

And it can be discerned, when he is responding to questions of Journalists on Radio France International or Africa 24, that, he is simply forcing things out, because he has to. He is a good man who has decided to join an evil course or system. And it seems to me that, all that he is interested in is to make his fortune and also help his family and friends.  Bienvenu Okiemy is a very generous man with his friends and also loves his family.  Having lived in France for a very long time, he acts and behaves like most French people, who see Africans and African countries as a milking cow that needs to be milked dry. On the subject of constitutional change in Congo, which is a very hot and controversial topic, he says privately that, the government has no legal logic to back up their claims or plans to change the constitution. In clear terms, the government is wrong. That is the intellectual spirit in him which speaks privately and it is honest. But the evil virus of politics and quest for wealth makes him to sing a different song in public. In short, he doesn’t have the courage to express his real thoughts openly, for fear not only to be shown the door out of government, but with the added risk of sudden death. Therefore, I am of the opinion that, his current change of ministerial post is for him, a welcomed relief.  He would be free from the verbal abuses and excesses of Claudia Sassou Nguesso, who really a pain on his back.

He will also no longer have to be spending sleepless nights in search for the appropriate words and terms to defend a system that perpetually shots itself on its legs. And on the controversial “Bien Mal Acqui” judicial saga and the case of the beach massacres code named “les Disparus du Beach,” he doesn’t want to get involved   as his predecessor Alain Akouala was. He once told me that, power in Congo will leave the north for the south, if honest and transparent elections were held and he also told me that, southern Congolese are better and highly educated than northern Congolese. And he concluded that, the real battle between the north and the south regions of Congo was that of intelligence and he was of the opinion that, the south was way ahead of the north. Politically, Bienvenu Okiemy is not a heavy weight. He relies on the supports that he gets from Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso and Aime Emmanuel Yoka, respectively son and uncle of the President of the Republic. In other words, he is a featherweight and not a broad day street political fighter like Alain Akouala. However, he is not one to be neglected, for he has a formidable survivalist instinct. Hence, his real ambition is to become minister of justice, a post currently held by Aime Emmanuel Yoka, one of his two God fathers.

This means also that, behind the smiles and manifestation of naivety, he is not just a political survivalist, he is an ambitious person who might contrary to my claims and observations, outlive Denis Sassou Nguesso period. It might explain the reason why, he did everything in 2012 to be vetted by the ruling PCT party as an MP for Bondji. Had he succeeded, it would have been at the detriment of one of the two local barons. Namely: Denis Ngokana and Rudolph Adada.  It also explains the reason why both local barons of the ruling party look at him with suspicions. His detractors accuses him of being a tribal oriented person and also that, he has mismanaged or used the funds of the ministry of Communications to enrich himself. It is an accusation that he rejects, although it comes from his elder sister, who was once his principal accountant and assistant at the ministry of Communications. I do hope that, the mistakes that, he committed while at the ministry of Communications, won’t be repeated at the ministry of Culture and Arts.  Bienvenu Okiemy’s administration of the national television and Radio stations, it is claimed by most staff of the state owned media was also a disaster and this if proven, is a disappointment for a man of his intellectual height. 

His frequent misunderstandings or dog fights with Jean Obambi, a senior journalist and Director of the state owned Television paralyzed the smooth functioning of a media that would normally be at the disposal of the people and serving the interest of the people. To his discharge, without that fight, state owned media in Congo has never served the people but working for the propaganda and self aggrandizements of President Denis Sassou Nguesso, his government and his family.  Under him, it is reported by workers that, Congolese national television and radio also promoted and favored incompetence at the expense of competence. Furthermore, he did not allow contradictory views on state media. All what were accepted were the ideologies and supporters of the ruling party. To his discharge he was simply respecting the instructions from the Presidency of the Republic. But for all his intelligence and other qualities that he has, I don’t think he has any future in the politics of Congo in a situation, where by Denis Sassou Nguesso and his family are no longer in power.  Bienvenu Okiemy is a brilliant man who is currently an intellectual waste, from the time when he opted to join a system that doesn’t give value to intellectuals but celebrates brutes and incompetence. His real future is the academia and not in the murky crocodile infested political river of Congo Brazzaville.

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