Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Joe Washington Ebina & Mathias Dzon : bête noirs of Denis Sassou Nguesso

Michel Ngakala is amongst those who have made Congolese women and girls to be amongst the laziest if not in Africa but in the world. And Mrs. Arlette Soudan-Nonault is a modern woman who doesn’t fall into what Michel Ngakala would like Congolese women to be, hence he hates her. And When I began the interviewing programme called La Grande Interview and invited every shades of opinion to speak, I was accused by members of the ruling family that, I was working for the opposition. In their opinion, the opposition did not have the right to express themselves on any television stations in the country. I was even once told by Malot Okemba, one of the nephews of the President that: stop inviting opposition party members to express themselves on the TV of our uncle. If the opposition wants to express their opinion, they can go and create their own Television station in BasCongo or elsewhere.  What Malot Okemba did not know was that, his uncle will not grant license to any person who is not close to their family or the ruling party.

However in Congo there are two kinds of opposition and civil society organizations: Those that are sanctioned by the presidency and those that are not or are in the bad books of the presidency of the Republic.  There is even a third group. These ones are those who seat on the fence or who call themselves “centrists.”  These last groups are in reality not very far from those who survive on the payroll of the presidency of the Republic. They are a kind of reservists or fighting force for the presidency and the ruling party in case of difficulties with the real opposition or are dangled to give credibility to the country’s democratic credentials to western nations. As for the first, they could express themselves on what they (ruling Nguesso family and government) referred to as their television stations or media. This simply means that, since all authorized media private or public were the television stations owned by Maurice Nguesso, Claudia Sassou Nguesso, General Dabira and the state owned Tele Congo, and they(government backed opposition could be invited. As already mentioned, the first opposition parties and some members of the civil society organizations were somehow tolerated because they are accepted by the Presidency.

However those that were not or were the bête noir of the ruling family and the government were opposition parties and civil society organizations that had the following names in their membership list:  Ambroise Herve Malonga, Jean Ngouabi, Clement Mierassa, Joe Washington Ebina, Mathias Dzon and Guy Romain Kinfossia. The latter mentioned individuals were banned from appearing on MNTV, Top TV, DRTV and Tele Congo, by the president and the presidency. Whenever Ambroise Herve Malonga, Jean Ngouabi, Clement Mierassa, Joe Washington Ebina, Mathias Dzon and Guy Romain Kinfossia were on television, they sent the entire ruling family, in particular President Denis Sassou Nguesso mad.  President Denis Sassou Nguesso had a special aversion for Mathias Dzon and Joe Washington Ebina. Hence the president and the ruling family instructed me never to invite them or allow that their activities be covered or broadcast on MNTV/MN Radio. But I did not obey their instructions.  In refusing , I  told them that, I will continue to broadcast their activities and also invite them to take part in our television and radio programmes until, they(ruling family) officially decides that, I should stop working for them.

On this aspect of allowing opposition party leaders and also leaders of civil society organizations that did not have the benediction of the Presidency or the ruling Nguesso family, to express themselves in the local media, I had the strong support of Maurice Nguesso. For Maurice Nguesso’s argument has always been that,  Congolese should be allowed  to express themselves freely and if the ruling party felt that, what the opposition or civil society organizations were saying were not correct, they(ruling party) could come and give their own point of view. However, the ruling party could not accept to debate or come up with a different point of view, not because they could not, but more because, the ruling party did not have competent individuals or those who could, were sidelined. I had been warned  not to receive opposition party members in my programme , but I failed to obey their instructions because, I felt that, it was not professional to keep on having only one view point in the country.

But when I interviewed and broadcast an interview that I had with Mathias Dzon that was when I discovered that President Denis Sassou Nguesso did not only hate free speech, he had an aversion for Mathias Dzon. The interview of Mathias Dzon that was broadcast on MNTV was as though I have committed a heresy. I also understood that, the President seem to have a personal aversion for Mathias Dzon. I went back and asked Mathias Dzon: on the reason why, President Denis Sassou Nguesso can’t stand you? He replied: you go and ask him. 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 a 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 in 2007. The official reason 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.   Mathias Dzon’s ambition was viewed by Denis Sassou Nguesso who loves power as a threat to his domination of the Congolese political landscape. 

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