Friday, February 12, 2016

Mathias Dzon: Congo is a republic and not a monarchy

When I discovered the sort of hatred that, Sassou Nguesso harbored against his former finance minister, I went back to Mathias Dzon’s home and asked him this simple question:  why, is it that, President Denis Sassou Nguesso can’t stand or hates you so much? Mathias Dzon replied my question with another one that went thus: you go and ask him the reason why he Denis Sassou Nguesso hates me. Mathias Dzon attempted some answers, but in reality he was evasive and at the end, he never told me anything serious. However, when Mathias Dzon explained to me the role that he played on the side of Denis Sassou Nguesso when they were in exile in France and also when they took power from Pascal Lissouba, after the civil war, I could only guess, the fear that inhabited President Denis Sassou Nguesso against Mathias Dzon was the only reason why Denis Sassou Nguesso hated his former minister of finance. Denis Sassou Nguesso was perhaps afraid that, Mathias Dzon could expose him or their secret dealings to the Congolese and the international community. Interestingly or not, Mathias Dzon was never ready or willing to spill the bin.  

President Denis Sassou Nguesso and Mathias Dzon certainly have their differences to a point that, the second did not attain the burial of the daughter (Edith Lucie Bongo Ondimba) of the first in Edou. But the person who knows the real reason behind the hatred that Denis Sassou Nguesso has for Mathias Dzon is Nicephore Antoine Fylla de Saint Eude. He is very close to both President Denis Sassou Nguesso and Mathias Dzon. Nicephore Antoine Fylla de Saint Eude had even tried to mediate between both men, when they fell out openly in 2007. The official reason it is claimed to why Denis Sassou Nguesso fell out with his former finance minister, Mathias Dzon was because Matthias wanted to field in too many independent candidates in the 2007 legislative elections.  And the second reason, this time around floated by some members of the ruling family is that, Mathias Dzon was angry to have been removed from the ministry of finance as minister. Hence he is against the President. However, this second reason doesn’t say why Denis Sassou Nguesso hates Mathias Dzon. 

In my opinion, the problem between both men might be that, Mathias Dzon’s ambition was viewed by Denis Sassou Nguesso who loves power, as a threat to his domination of the Congolese political landscape. Furthermore and this, contrary to what Denis Sassou Nguesso likes to portray, he is in reality, a very regional and tribal oriented man. Denis Sassou Nguesso wants to be regarded in the north as their champion and protector from southern Congolese that he and other northern supremacists, think are a threat to their existence and current political, military and economic powers or privileges. 

And to see the rise of Mathias Dzon, means a direct challenge to Denis Sassou Nguesso’s role as northern guardian and also leader of the entire Congo. But Mr. Nicephore Antoine Fylla de Saint Eudes has another reason why Mathias Dzon fell out with Denis Sassou Nguesso. The culprit according to Nicephore Antoine Fylla de Saint Eudes is Alain Roux the owner of a mineral water bottling Company called Eaux Mayo. Alain Roux is the cause. He is the one who forced Mathias Dzon to become President Denis Sassou Nguesso’s greatest and most formidable rival. And still according to Nicephore Antoine Fylla de Saint Eudes, Alain Roux was the one who has made or pushed Mathias Dzon to become the opposition leader that, he is today.  Alain Roux is a French businessman living in Brazzaville and he is the friend of both President Denis Sassou Nguesso and Mathias Dzon. 

It is alleged that, Alain Roux was amongst the many French whites who not only supported Denis Sassou Nguesso’s violent power grab from democratically elected Pascal Lissouba, in 1997, they also supplied the then rebel militia of Denis Sassou Nguesso known as the Cobra with weapons that were bought from Eastern Europe, North Korea and that passed through Angola and Gabon. How did Alain Roux force Mathias Dzon to enter in the opposition? Nicephore Antoine Fylla de Saint Eudes told me that, Alain Roux once visited Mathias Dzon and Mathias told Alain Roux that, he wanted to field in independent candidates in the upcoming 2007 legislative elections.  Alain Roux smiled and then asked Mathias: knowing how Denis Sassou Nguesso loves power, are you not afraid that, the president will be angry?

Mathias replied: I don’t care and Mathias added: we are all human beings and we need to have ambitions and more, this is a republic and not a monarchy. According to Nicephore Fylla, Mathias Dzon never knew that, Alain Roux even though his friend was more loyal to the President. And Nicephore Antoine Fylla de Saint Eudes added: it true that, Mathias Dzon wanted to field in candidates of his party in the legislative elections of 2007, but Mathias Dzon was not doing so in an attempt to challenge the power of President Denis Sassou Nguesso. But when Alain Roux reported to the President, he made the President to think and believe that, Mathias Dzon had presidential ambitions. That was when President Denis Sassou Nguesso went mad and decided that, the candidacy of Mathias Dzon and all those he fielded for the 2007 legislative elections should be banned. Surprised at the turn of events, members of the decision making body of the ruling Congolese Workers party abbreviated PCT, decided to also invalidate the  candidacy of Maurice Nguesso, in order to calm down the growing tension that sparked from the disqualification of Mathias Dzon and all those his party fielded into the 2007 legislative elections.

While Mathias Dzon doesn’t want to speak on the real cause of their fallout ,only claiming that, it was because he opposed the way President Denis Sassou Nguesso began running the country, especially regarding economic matters. Mathias Dzon however told me that: President had informed him that, he was no longer going to retain him in his reshuffled cabinet because of his ambitions. Whatever the challenges that I went through in Congo from the hands of  certain members of the ruling family and also from the security forces that culminated in my expulsion, I am happy that MNTV /Radio was the most successful amongst the various arms of the media group called MNCOM. It is true it was a lost making venture financially. But it gradually started operating like a modern company. My plans to turn it around financially were set for the 4th year and it would have been 2015. My first goal was that, I wanted to establish and give MNTV/MN Radio credibility and then, my second plan was to focus on generation of funds in order to make it truly autonomous. The challenge to make MNTV/Radio both subsidiaries of the media group MNCOM to become professional and also make it attractive was a success by September 2014.

It also proved all those who doubted Maurice Nguesso’s capacity to run a viable company wrong. MNTV/MN Radio won’t have been a success without the support of the entire staff and also the support of Maurice Nguesso, in spite pressure from his family. We had pitiable materials, lack of trained manpower, salaries were not paid regularly but with determination, we succeeded to make MNTV/ MN Radio to become a major media in Congo.  And in the 11th August 2014 edition of the pan African French language magazine Jeune Afrique, a profile was written, though focusing on me, but it was thanks to the collective work of the MNTV/MN Radio that, I could be known. But it was not easy to work in Congo. Sometimes I had to cover-up some of my journalists who were on the verge of being arrested by the Police.  There are the cases of Guy Blaise Seydoux and Emery Patrice Orbargui.  I had pressure from the ruling Nguesso family and also from the government, especially the Police. Although I have written about the ruling Nguesso family, mostly in negative terms, it would be unfair to generalize or for me to claim that all members of the ruling family are bad. 

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