Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Rodolphe Adada: profile of a mathematician turn Congolese politician

He is a mathematician by profession and also one of the rare well mannered politicians of northern Congolese extraction that I have seen or discovered. We have met twice. The reason of our first meeting was because of Rodrigue Nombo. Mr Nombo is the archetype of a Congolese and African elite: corrupt, inhumane and arrogant. He was the director of the Congolese national airline: Nouvelle Air Congo. Rodrigue Nombo did not only refuse to pay his staff for months, he also never insured the aircrafts, staff or passengers of his company. Rodrigue Nombo was also the embodiment of all what is wrong in Congo. He had abandoned his office. To find him and also talk or negotiate anything regarding Nouvelle Air Congo, there were two places locate him: La Mandarine of Mammy Water, both famous restaurants in Brazzaville.  When I broke the news about the chronic mismanagement and outright theft at Nouvelle Air Congo, carried out by Rodrigue Nombo, in Ca Discute Le Matin, a breakfast show on MNTV, which was anchored by Gustelle Klaire Nkoudissa, Mr Nombo went mad. He reported me to Rodolphe Adada, who was at that time, the minister of transport. And Adada, fearful of his post, because Mr Rodrigue Nombo was the protégé of Mrs. Antoinette Sassou Nguesso, wife of President Sassou Nguesso, he intend, reported me to Maurice Nguesso. Mr Maurice Nguesso as you know is the owner of the media group, MNCOM. And MNCOM is the parent company of MNTV, that I was the director.

When Maurice Nguesso summoned me to come to his house and he also added that, when coming, I should bring proves to back up any controversial declarations I may have made on TV, I suspected that, it was about Nouvelle Air Congo. For I have been used to senior government officers and ministers going to complain or report me to my boss. When we met in the home of Maurice Nguesso, I brought proves of my allegations, which included the fictitious insurance policy contracted from a marginal insurance broking company. When Mr Adada, discovered that, I was not wrong, he did not argue for too long. He asked me to come and see him in his office two days later. When I went there, he gave me his business card and also confided to me that, he could not do anything against Rodrigue Nombo, the rogue manager of Nouvelle Air Congo.

Why? It was simply because Antoinette Sassou Nguesso never wanted that, Rodrigue Nombo should be sanctioned. He told me that, Mrs. Sassou Nguesso had told him this: why do you want to take away bread from the mouth of Nombo? Rodolphe Adada was not the only Congolese minister who was grumbling about the intrusion of the ruling Nguesso family into the management of their ministries. The other one who complained to me was Basile Ikouebe. Mr Ikouebe was so fed up to the point that, he tendered in his resignation, which was dissimulated as a sacking. For Sassou Nguesso decided to reshuffle his cabinet, when it became clear that, Basile Ikouebe would make a public declaration.  Basile Ikouebe left the ministry of foreign affairs without stealing a cent, a feat for a Congolese government minister. He was replaced by Jean Claude Gakosso, nationally known to be corrupt, with little or no knowledge on international affairs. There are two things that I retained when we met in the house of Maurice Nguesso about Rodolphe Adada. First, Maurice Nguesso told me in the presence of Adada that, he (Adada) enjoys drinking champagne, which was in my understanding, a metaphor to the cliché of an elitist, which is too often attached to the man, who always dons a bow tie. The second, Maurice said, Rodolphe Adada was the most competent Mbouchi man capable to replace Sassou Nguesso in 2016. As far as Maurice Nguesso was concern, his younger brother, Sassou Nguesso had to respect the January 20th 2002 constitution of Congo, which set two presidential term limits. 

However good and noble were Maurice Nguesso’s allegations, he wanted political power to remain not only in the north of Congo, but within the hands of ethnic Mbouchi. Before the declarations of Maurice Nguesso aforementioned, I knew that, this ethnic Mbouchi from Bondji, was born on the 28th of April 1946. Bondji is located some 47 km from Edou-Elanga, the village of President Sassou Nguesso. Another twist noted with Mr Adada is that, it is not certain whether he was born in Bondji or in Gamboma. However what is generally said about him is that, he is a sleek politician. He leaves little or no foot prints. I also knew that, he had held several ministerial functions, first under General Yhombi and then under Sassou Nguesso. He was only shown the door out of ministerial appointment recently. Besides working in Congo, he has worked as the Joint UN-AU representative in Sudan with focus on Darfur. In my humble opinion, Rodolphe Adada is perhaps the most prepared ethnic Mbouchi, with the necessary international connections, intellectual capacity and cultural finesse to rule Congo, if there were any internal power alternation within the ruling PCT party a la chinoise or a la Chama cha mapinduzi.

Unfortunately within the ruling PCT party, there are no alternatives other than Sassou Nguesso. Anyway, that is how Sassou Nguesso has made things to appear. It partly explains the reason why, even though he was among the potential successors of Ambroise Noumazalaye at the post secretary general of the PCT, during its 2011 Extraordinary Congress, Denis Sassou Nguesso dumped Adada just like many others, for Pierre Ngolo, who is a man without personality. Some people claim that, just as he leads a clean and orderly life, so also is his managerial decency at the head of all the ministries that, he has headed. It is claimed by some Congolese that, if he is not corrupt, it is because he is married to a White French woman, who owns one of the most prestigious private schools in the capital, Brazzaville: Ecole Privee Madame Adada. However, not everyone things that Adada is unblemished as far as corruption is concern. The soft spoken consumer of champagne, according to Maurice Nguesso, is not a paragon of financial honesty.

According to his successor at the ministry of foreign affairs, Basile Ikouebe, when Adada was leaving the ministry of foreign affairs, he left with the budget of FCFA 800 million, earmarked by the state to equip the brand new foreign ministry furniture. The ministry of foreign affairs building in Brazzaville is a gift from the Chinese government.  Rodolphe Adada might not fall into the cliché of northern Mbouchi politicians of the ruling party, who are unashamedly corrupt and above all, who entertain several mistresses or are regularly involved in salacious affairs, but he is not as clean as he wants the people to think, Basile Ikouebe confided to me. As far as ordinary Congolese are concern, he might be less corrupt and less interested in extramarital affairs, which are a hallmark of influential Congolese political and business elite, but he is not generous. That is the general complain from the masses about a man who could have been the candidate of the ruling party in 2016, had Sassou Nguesso not decided to stay in power everlastingly.

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