FILE PHOTO: Vital Kamerhe, leader of the Union for the Congolese Nation (UNC) party, attends a meeting with Congo’s Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) and observers from the Southern African Development Community(SADC) in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, December 28, 2018. REUTERS/Baz Ratner/File Photo
KINSHASA (Reuters) – Police in Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday arrested the president’s chief of staff, Vital Kamerhe, after he testified in an investigation into alleged misappropriation of public funds, a police official said.
Kamerhe, the chief of staff to President Felix Tshisekedi, was being driven by the police to the Makala prison, Sylvano Kasongo, the police chief of the capital Kinshasa, told Reuters.
Tshisekedi’s spokesman, Kasongo Mwema, said he had no comment. “The president does not comment on the decisions of the justice system,” he said.
Tshisekedi came to power in January last year vowing to clean up the corruption that watchdog groups said had flourished under his long-serving predecessor, Joseph Kabila.
Kamerhe has been dogged by allegations of graft over his role in a $304-million public works program that included roads, bridges and social housing. He has denied all charges of impropriety.
Reporting by Stanis Bujakera, additional reporting by Aaron Ross, writing by Hereward Holland, Editing by Aaron Ross, William Maclean