Thursday, April 14, 2016

Pierre Mabiala MP: Profile of an opportunist government minister

Pierre Mabiala MP: he is a government minister and Member of Parliament for Makabana electoral constituency, located in the Niari region of southern Congo. Like most new converts, he zealously shows that, he is in support of President Denis Sassou Nguesso and his ruling party, the PCT. He is combative and always willing to come and take part in radio and television for debates or shows, which has something to do with the defense and promotion of the President or to talk about his ministerial department. That is perhaps the only positive point that I have noticed with him unlike other government ministers. But in spite his zealotry in calling for the change of the constitution, which will permit the President to stand for a third  mandate , that he is constitutionally barred, he is not love or respected within the ruling party, especially by the loyal supporters and some family members of the president of the Republic. Why? The reason is simple. They claim that, the same zeal with which he is now showing or manifesting for the current president was the same, which he did when he was working for the only post independent democratically elected President of Congo, Professor Pascal Lissouba. But Pierre Mabiala rejects such accusations and suspicions that he is subjected to, with a wave from his large palm. He says, he is a changed man today and has witnessed the changes carried out by President Denis Sassou Nguesso, since he violently took power in 1997.

Hence, he is now his fanatical supporter. He also says that, all those scheming against him are simply jealous of his proximity to the President of the Republic. Pierre Mabiala is therefore considered by some loyalists of the President as a traitor, who will betray the President of the Republic again, should the opportunity shows up.  Another character of Pierre Mabiala is that, he a very bellicose man who doesn’t entertain contradictions. But, he is nonetheless generous, whenever he wants to and this especially toward women who are faire in complexion. At his ministry, he is always seen on the field supervising work and seldom likes to delegate responsibilities to his directors or close collaborators. While some people do appreciates his presence on the field, which is almost always accompanied with TV crews others are of the opinion that, his professional activism is an indication of his eccentric attitude or a desire to please the president. Some eve think that, his conduct  exposes and confirms the country as dictatorship, for as a member of the executive branch of government, he is regularly seen ordering homes and other structures to be demolished without due process or waiting for  court orders or the judiciary to adjudicate.  Whenever he is out to operate, he is always dressed in his trademark Texas Cowboy hat and dons an orange over-roll. He supervises demolitions of buildings wantonly and sometimes orders demolished buildings and houses to be vandalized. It is perhaps the only time when his former populists and extreme left leanings reflex, reappears.  

His collaborators describe him as a living terror. They can’t challenge him or make any proposals, for his reign in his ministerial department is synonymous to that of a bully. A former university trade unionist and lawyer, Pierre Mabiala is an opportunistic political figure with no clear cut ideology or principles. All that he is interested in is to get rich and also place his family and some of his very few chosen friends beyond wants. It is reported that, he tells everyone within his region who wants to hear that, he hates President Denis Sassou Nguesso and also that, he can never forget what the current President did to Pascal Lissouba.  Those who propagate the above also claims that, even adds that, if he has any chance to betray the Denis Sassou Nguesso, whom, he referred to in an interview that I conducted with him as the “younger brother” to Pascal Lissouba, he won’t hesitate. What he says in private in a country where there is no secret and where everyone spies on everyone, definitely comes to the ears of people who hate him. And it becomes fuel in the tanks of his enemies. What he has said or not, positively or negatively against the president is exactly the reason why, no one within the ruling party believes in him, perhaps only the President of the Republic. He also claims to be a nephew to Maurice Nguesso, the elder brother of President Denis Sassou Nguesso.

But he fails to justify his filial relationship through genealogy, tribe or region. What he has stopped short is to change his tribe to become an ethnic Mbouchi, the tribe of the President of the Republic. He is a classic example of most Congolese elite: triple personage. He says a thing, acts differently and thinks differently. He is also a professional praise singer to the President and like most politicians and elite in Congo, he is indecisive and also an inveterate womanizer. Every young girl or woman, in particular those who are light skin, he promises the newly elected a trip to Pointe Noire and a furnished rented apartment. Although he is not liked by bona fide members of the ruling party and also by some members of the ruling Nguesso family, he could still play a role in Congolese politics as far as Denis Sassou Nguesso is still in power, for he has made himself indispensable, even though in politics, like in life, no one is indispensable. But after President Denis Sassou Nguesso is gone from power, I doubt whether he would have any future or role to play in the Congolese political realm.

This is so because; he has created a lot of enemies, because of the zeal with which he has invested in demolishing the homes of people in Brazzaville and Pointe Noire in a bid to respect the national and urban construction master plan. He is also accused of land grab by some Congolese. While what he is doing in his ministerial department as far as the respect of urban master plan is noble and courageous, some people think that, he is selective. For he acts without mercy against people who are not well connected or poor. But he is careful and respectful with the rich and powerful. He doesn’t force people who well connected to respect the urban master plan of the country. They are not mistreated and spoken down to, as he does with the poor. There are others who think nonetheless that, Pierre Mabiala is being used or exploited by President Denis Sassou Nguesso, hence he has given him a ministerial post that requires him to do or deliver very unpopular task: respect of the national urban master plan. In order for it to work or in order for the policy to be implemented in a country that has seen rapid population growth, massive demolitions of homes are inevitable. And this is a very unpopular task in a country where people are poor.  How or what will you or will he tell a family head, who saved throughout his life to buy a plot of land and erect a dwelling for his family, that, his hard earned home, will be demolished because he/she has not respected the country’s urban master plan? Where do they go to after their homes have been destroyed?  Such is the mammoth task that, Pierre Mabiala shoulders and he seems to enjoy it, at least, in public. 

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