Chérubin Okende was found dead in his car, having suffered multiple gunshot wounds on a major avenue in the capital. Moïse Katumbi, who was away attending the general assembly of CAF at the time, expressed his shock and anger upon learning about the tragic event.
During the interview with RFI, Moïse Katumbi conveyed his strong belief that the death of Chérubin Okende was a deliberate act of political assassination. He asserted that Okende, being the voice of their political party, had been specifically targeted. Expressing his dismay and frustration, Katumbi emphasized that such acts aimed to suppress and silence their party members, including the arrests of his advisers and partners. He further lamented the loss of trust in the country’s institutions and voiced the party’s determination to conduct an independent investigation to uncover the truth.
Katumbi’s Response and Action
Moïse Katumbi revealed that he was cutting short his stay in Abidjan to return home via Lubumbashi, with plans to reach Kinshasa that evening. He explained that Chérubin Okende was not only a political ally but also a personal friend, describing him as an honest and peaceful man who served as the party’s spokesperson. Katumbi vowed that those responsible for Okende’s death would not escape punishment.
Pattern of Targeted Attacks
Moïse Katumbi drew attention to the alarming trend of targeted attacks against individuals involved in their political party, citing the previous case of Floribert Chebeya. He decried the state of the rule of law in the country, questioning the direction in which the nation was heading. Katumbi expressed concern about the future and highlighted the imprisonment of his secretary, Salomon Idi Kalonda, and the precarious situation faced by other party members, including those who had resigned or gone into hiding.
Implications for Democracy and Elections
Katumbi underscored the significance of upholding truth and justice, particularly in an election year. He stressed the urgent need for an independent investigation to ensure accountability and prevent the country from descending into lawlessness. Despite the challenges and dangers faced by himself and those close to him, Katumbi remained resolute in his belief that truth would ultimately prevail over impunity.