Thursday, March 10, 2016

Raymond Zephirin Mboulou MP: Tenacious and rigorous minister of interior and decentralization(Profile)

Raymond Zephirin Mboulou MP: he is Congo’s minister of interior and decentralization and he is also Member of Parliament for Mpouya electoral constituency. Mpouya is a locality situated some 32km from the town of Ngo in the Plateau Region. Ngo in itself is a junction town. For Ngo which, is a market town specialized in the sales of cocoyam is also located on the routes that leads to Djambala, the headquarters of the Plateau region and also the passage to towns of Gamboma, Oyo, Owando and Ouesso.  Raymond Zephirin Mboulou MP is a soft spoken man but tenacious and rigorous. He is also a person who is extremely nationalistic and abhors France in particular. Once in his office in 2011, some days before the holding of a national dialogue in the northwestern town of Ewo, I overheard him in shock and awe promising to order the beating of an opposition leader, should he decide with others to stage a rival meeting in Brazzaville. Sometimes he is violent, especially when he is ordered by the President to act.  

Unlike others, he at least has the courage to counter the excesses of the extremists within the regime. In other words he is not a zealot. He is a reasoned man who is humble, humane and generous. These are positive aspects of Raymond Zephirin Mboulou that are not known by the opposition and other pro-democracy activists who spend time deriding him on social media. They also call him the minister of interior of President Denis Sassou Nguesso and the ruling Congolese Workers Party. In other words, the opposition refers to him as partial. This former secretary general at the presidency and a close ally to Justice Minister Aime Emmanuel Yoka is by his position, one man who is regularly consulted by the President of the Republic electoral and national matters. I have met and interviewed him on several occasions. But I was stroke three times by his reactions to three events. The first time was in 2011 as above explained and the second time was in 2012. Immediately after the legislative elections, there were riots in Gamboma, the most populated town in the north of Congo. The cause of the riots was the lost of the head of the opposition, Mathias Dzon, to Hughes Ngouelondele the Gamboma2 electoral constituency.  Hughes Ngouelondele is the lord mayor of the Brazzaville Greater City Council and son in law to the president of the Republic.

I called him after I had spoken with Mathias Dzon and he complained that, the army had closed down the town and were denying him the opportunity to go back to Brazzaville. The reply of Raymond Zephirin was shocking. He told me: Mathias Dzon must stay in Gamboma to cleanse the city and bring back order in the town, for he is the one who has created the mayhem. And he added: after all, I have my cassava in my mouth, let him not disturb me. The third was in 2013, December 16th. The army and Police were attacking the home of Colonel Marcel Nstourou, a reneged army officer who was accused of having master minded the March 4th 2012 Explosion that took place at an ammunition depot. He was eventually arrested, tried and acquitted with a suspended sentence. I was around the battle venue and when I saw how intense was the battle and also the possibility that,  Colonel Marcel Nstourou might be killed, I called the minister of interior and told him that, I am around the area of action and  that, within 30 minutes or so, I suspect that, Colonel Marcel Nstourou could be killed. He responded: let him be killed, for he is also responsible for several deaths.

My fear was that, should Colonel Marcel Nstourou be killed during the conflict, I think his death would plunge the country into a tribal war, pitting the ethnic Batekes, who are by far, the largest ethnic group in the country against the ruling minority Mbouchi of President Denis Sassou Nguesso. Fortunately, the Colonel was not killed. According to Matthias Dzon, President Denis Sassou Nguesso will use him like an orange, press-out all juice out of him and then throw him away. But Mr Mboulou ignores the warnings from Mathias Dzon and says that, he is loyal to the President and doesn’t care what will be his fate in the future. Raymond Zephirin Mboulou is an extremely hardworking and loyal man to President Denis Sassou Nguesso.  Nonetheless he is dominated in his ministry by Jean Francois Ndenguet who is the head of the Congolese Police Force. Jean Francois Ndenguet gets his strength to dominate over Mr Mboulou from Jean Dominique Okemba, who is the influential nephew of the president and also his special adviser. As a native of the Plateau of the Congo, a region that is reported to have one of the highest literacy rates in the country after the Pool region, he is a brilliant tactician. The people of the Plateau region are also known for their unique solidarity traits.This simply means that, in spite being part of the repressive security apparatus of Denis Sassou Nguesso and also classified amongst the extremists of the regime, Raymond Zephirin Mboulou still has a future in the country even after Denis Sassou Nguesso is gone from power.

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