Factional Strife Mounts Within CEEAC Against President Gilberto da Piedade Verissimo

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
2 Min Read
CEEAC

Deep divisions have gripped the Commission of the Economic Community of Central African States (CEEAC) since the appointment of Angolan Gilberto da Piedade Verissimo as its president in 2020.

A newly obtained internal document confirms the lingering distrust between the former general and his teams. Several officials have penned letters to the CEEAC expressing grievances regarding the president’s management.

“The atmosphere is chilly, and the climate toxic,” confides a commission member. The vice-president, five commissioners, and other officials have therefore written to the President of the Council of Ministers of the CEEAC, Equatorial Guinean Lucas Abaga Nchama, to alert him ahead of the upcoming summit on March 9 in Malabo.

They express “deep concern” and note the “confusion” prevailing within the institution. The plan to relocate the headquarters from Libreville to Malabo has been shelved. Nonetheless, Gilberto da Piedade Verissimo has been in Equatorial Guinea since January 23. He even brought in teams, totaling twenty to thirty individuals, to Malabo. The commission finds itself divided, prompting “great surprise” from the letter’s authors, who describe the situation as unprecedented.

They also raise concerns about the financial implications of this de facto relocation at a time when the institution faces “severe cash flow tensions” with a “risk of short-term payment suspension,” as stated in the letter.

Staff members also denounce the lack of respect for collegial decision-making, failure to adopt internal regulations, operational dysfunctions, and a crisis of governance and trust. “Employees have deserted, and many are working remotely. There is a general atmosphere of suspicion. Everyone is cautious about what they say because some report everything to Verissimo,” confides one staff member…

The letter is addressed to the President of the Council of Ministers, the only body within the CEEAC authorized to demand accountability, in hopes that Gilberto da Piedade Verissimo will ultimately be replaced until the end of his mandate in August 2025.

Soukaina Sghir

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