Monday, August 21, 2017

Denis Sassou Nguesso: how he squandered Congo's oil windfall

Denis Sassou Nguesso: Cheerful giver

At the height of his political and financial power and this because of the high cost of Oil and the financial windfall it created, Sassou Nguesso decided to extend his influence beyond Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Sassou Nguesso who considers state coffers as if it were his private safe, doled out money in forms of loans to several West African states:  Guinea, FCFA 50 billion, Niger, FCFA 50 billion and Ivory Coast, FCFA 100 billion. Furthermore, while there is no freedom of speech and democracy in Congo Brazzaville, Denis Sassou Nguesso, paradoxically, decided to export multiparty democracy and multiparty elections in other African countries. How? As already mentioned, he promotes or promoted free and faire elections in Central African Republic, even though as already mentioned, he tried to dictates or pull the strings from behind in a bid to dictates the outcome. Sassou Nguesso acted the way he did in Bangui because he doesn’t want the people to decide freely. He wants puppets in Bangui not just because he hates genuine democracy, but more because of his rivalry with Idriss Derby Itno of Chad of the control of Central African Republic. It is also alleged that, Sassou Nguesso sponsored Macky Sall during Senegal’s last presidential elections. The go between or the persons who transported the financial wallet  from Brazzaville to Dakar  were Jean Dominique Okemba, Senegal’s ambassador in Brazzaville and Michel Nguimbi, Congo’s ambassador in Dakar. He is also reported to have supported financially, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in his successful presidential bid in Mali. 

The Republic of Congo-Brazzaville has become too small for Denis Sassou Nguesso; hence his expansion across central and West Africa in a bid to transform some of the countries in dictatorships or to have elected leaders in those countries that are electoral or liberal democracies to be at his beck and call. Because Alpha Conde, Alassane Ouattara, Mamadou Issoufou, Macky Sall and Ibrahim Boubacar Keita partly owes their electoral successes to the financial support they receive or have received from Brazzaville, the aforementioned leaders have become lobbyists for Sassou Nguesso in France, especially among the French Socialist party, that are hostile toward Sassou Nguesso. It is also claimed that, one of the aforementioned leaders contributed in softening Francois Hollande’s initial stands against Denis Sassou Nguesso, especially on his plans to change the January 20th 2002 constitution.


Congo’s President is a Kleptocrat and the business and financial empire that he has built from the proceeds of loot are sometimes difficult to trace or to prove officially belong to Sassou Nguesso and the Nguesso family. However the good thing with Congo-Brazzaville is that, the truth, especially when it comes to illicit money, business or investments owned by the Nguessos and all those gravitating around them are well known by all. Sassou Nguesso claims that, his reason to have changed the January 20th 2002 constitution that barred him from seeking a third mandate was because he wanted to consolidate the country’s democratic experience, is absolutely wrong.  The reality is quite different. He wanted to stay in power because of two reasons: preserve the wealth that his family with his support has amassed and secondly: it was to lay the foundation for his son, Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso to succeed him when he leaves office between 2021 or 2023.

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