Saturday, February 27, 2016

Alain Akouala Atipault aka “the manager”: Reporting for another duty for Denis Sassou Nguesso

Alain Akouala Atipault: until his recent appointed as Congo’s ambassador designate to France, a post that, he never assumed, because of reasons not worth explaining hereon, he was minister delegate at the Presidency of the Republic, in charge of Special Economic Zones. He is one of the rare government minister of President Denis Sassou Nguesso who can walk anywhere in the country without a body guard. He is a man of the people and indeed a very simple free minded man. While he is fluent in both English and French, he prefers to speak only the Lingala language. Lingala is one of the two widely spoken national languages in Congo and western DRC. He is also one of the ministers of Denis Sassou Nguesso’s government that, I have spoken with who has a clear cut ideological orientation. He is a Communist pan Africanist. His main national political idol or role model is: Marien Ngouabi, on whom, he can spend an entire year speaking with passion about and also in excessive praise. To Alain Akouala, Marien Ngouabi is the all time best President of Congo. On Marien Ngouabi, Alain Akouala is not the only Congolese who is full of praise of a leader who died in controversial circumstances in 1977. Marien Ngouabi is held in a kind mythology in Congo and he was also a pan Africanist whose actions are not known because those he brought to power in 1968, did not only help to kill him but they have done everything to destroy or undermine his legacy.  

Marien Ngouabi was amongst those Thomas Isidore Sankara considered as heroes and role models in his own actions and policies in Burkina Faso. Like Marien Ngouabi, Thomas Sankara was killed by his brothers in arms. Commandant Marien Ngouabi is to Congolese what John Fritz Kennedy is to the Americans, an idol that can still win elections, even in his grave against any presidential candidate in Congo. Marien Ngouabi was an example of probity absent today in Congo’s political elite.  The other idols of Alain Akouala are: Ahmed Sekou Toure of Guinea, Patrice Emery Lumumba of the DRC, Antonio Agostinho Neto of Angola, Amílcar Lopes da Costa Cabral of Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde, Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein of Egypt and Samora Moisés Machel of Mozambique. He also loves Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz of Cuba and Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela of South Africa. But he thinks that, the South African and global icon is a sellout, for having in his expression, conceded too much to the white minorities. Another thing he spends time speaking in glorious terms about is the battle of Cuito Cuannavale in Angola. A battle fought between 1987 and 1988 and it was the most important battle and turning point in the liberation combed ideological proxy war pitting the imperial powers of the United States against the USA on African soil. On one hand were the South African Defense Force supported by UNITA of Dr Jonas Savimbi while on the other hand were the Cuban forces supported by the MPLA, Soviet Union, ANC and SWAPO.

The commander of the first was Colonel Deon Ferreira, while the commander of the second was General Leopoldo Cintras Frias aka Polo. In the mind of Alain Akouala, the Berlin wall has not fallen and he also thinks that Africa, especially French-speaking Africa is in a second a ferocious decolonization process against the imperialists.The fact that he is still a minister in Denis Sassou Nguesso’s government to point of being given the strategic post of ambassador of Congo to France is a unique testimony of his resilience and independent fighting spirit, for he doesn’t have the support of the children of the President as it is the case with most government ministers in Congo. Alain Akouala is an independent minded person who believes in the values of true democracy, the respect of free speech and protection and defense of human rights. He also respects the rights of all minorities’ even homosexuals, something most of his colleagues can’t stand. He also doesn’t belong to any of the orders or cult groups that most influential men and women Congo and Africa likes to be attached to or be members of. Therefore, he is not a member of any fraternities such as Bilderberg, Freemason, Armoc or any tribal orders or fraternity. 

Even though born in a Christian Roman catholic family, he seldom goes to church. Most often than not, combated by some members of the ruling family who have influence on some government ministers as already mentioned, he has survived because he is a fighter  who has rendered himself indispensable in the defense of the regime and in particular, President Denis Sassou Nguesso. He is exceptionally proactive in the defense of President Denis Sassou Nguesso than most government ministers, to a point that, he has been nicknamed: “the cobra of Denis Sassou Nguesso”. Edgard Nguesso, the nephew of President Denis Sassou Nguesso and Director of Presidential Domains calls him “the manager”, whatever that means is left to the author to explain, while Issidore Mvouba, MP and minister in Denis Sassou Nguesso’s government calls him the cobra of Denis Sassou Nguesso.

Mr. Mvouba, MP is even the author of the phrase: Cobra of Denis Sassou Nguesso. This because he was impressive in the way Alain Akouala defended the president and his family at the height of accusations in France by NGOs who were accusation the President and his family of having amassed illicit wealth.. While Mvouba,MP might be happy and supports Alain Akouala in his defense of President Denis Sassou Nguesso, not everyone seems to be impressed with the militant defense of the president carried out by Alain Akouala. One of such is Bruno Jean Richard Itoa, MP and current minister of Scientific Research of Congo. He thinks that Alain Akouala is too zealous in defense of the President and doing very little in the function to which he has been appointed. As for Mathias Dzon, former finance minister of Denis Sassou Nguesso and currently his main rival in the opposition, he says: “Alain Akouala will use and dumped very soon by Denis Sassou Nguesso”. 

He also says: “he doesn’t understand the reason why such as brilliant and hard working person such Alain Akouala is investing too much energy in a system and a man of the past in the caliber of Denis Sassou”. But Alain Akouala, who is in his mid 50s and married, doesn’t care. He is a loyal servant of President Denis Sassou Nguesso, because he is the successor of his idol, Marien Ngouabi. He also adds that: “people must learn in Congo and Africa to be loyal and assume the consequences and not be unnecessarily opportunistic”. He is a force to be counter upon within the current system and even if, the system changes and the new  one has the spirit of inclusion and stability, Alain Akouala will still have a greater responsibility and role to play in Congo and in the next two or three decades ahead. Alain Akouala likes African political history, Congolese Rumba music and Biking with his children during the weekends without guards. He is really a man of the people from Gamboma, the most populated city in the north of Congo.

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