The Democratic Republic of Congo’s Justice Minister Celestin Tunda on Saturday tendered his resignation in the wake of a dispute with the president over proposed laws that would give politicians more control over criminal prosecutions.
In a televised statement, Tunda gave no reason for his departure, which came a week after President Felix Tshisekedi privately threatened to fire Tunda if he did not quit.
The disagreement over a proposal from Tunda’s political allies to give the justice ministry more control over the judiciary highlighted strains in the coalition between Tshisekedi and his long-serving predecessor Joseph Kabila.
Tshisekedi had said in a speech he would oppose any reforms that undermined the independence of the judiciary.
“I leave the government with the conviction that my actions in the ministry of justice made a contribution to the consolidation of the rule of law,” said Tunda, a senior figure in Kabila’s FCC political alliance.
Peter Kazadi of Tshisekedi’s UDPS party said Tunda had sent a letter to parliament approving the judicial reforms without consulting the government.
“His resignation is normal because the minister acted in violation of the line laid down by the government,” Kazadi told Reuters.
Tension mounted in late June when Tunda was briefly detained by police, prompting Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga to threaten the government would resign over the matter.
According to Vincent Rouguet at London-based security firm Control Risks, Tunda’s resignation removes one element of tension between the two camps, but it is far from the only point of contention.
“It is not going to be enough to restore collaboration,” Rouguet noted.
Tshisekedi has struggled to assert himself since forming a coalition government in January 2019 with Kabila, who maintains extensive powers through his parliamentary majority, control of most cabinet ministries and the army.
Meanwhile, friction between their parties has split into the streets in recent weeks.
On Thursday, no fewer than three people including a policeman were killed during protests in Kinshasa and elsewhere over the nomination of an election commission chief.
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
- Political Scientist urges Edo politicians to play games according to rules
- Celtic given tricky tie in UEFA Champions League qualifiers, Red Star drawn away
- COVID-19: NITDA assures school of support on robot innovation
- Britain’s Prime Minister criticises new wave of migrant boat crossings
- Borussia Dortmund’s Sancho off to pre-season camp amid transfer speculation
- Alleged Insubordination : Nasarawa Assembly suspends LG boss
- JAMB says varsities, polytechnics, others can start Post-UTME test Sept. 7
- Man docked over alleged N2.4m land fraud
- COVID-19 mortality cases rise to 200 in Lagos
- Gov. AbdulRazaq congratulates Olofa at 57