The Supreme Military Court has handed down its verdict in the appeal trial on the murders of human rights defenders Floribert Chebeya and Fidèle Bazana. Chief of Police Kenga Kenga was sentenced to death and one of his associates, Deputy Commissioner Jacques Mugabo, was sentenced to twelve years in prison. Major Paul Mwilambwe Londa was acquitted.
as reported from Kinshasa,Kamanda wa Kamanda Muzembe
Colonel Christian Kenga Kenga did not take part in a single hearing other than the one on identification. The Supreme Military Court found this commander of the Simba Battalion guilty the murder of Floribert Chebeya and Fidèle Bazana. It was he who had coordinated the operation this evening, June 1, 2010. He risks the death penalty, which, however, is no longer applied in the country.
Deputy Commissioner Jacques Migabo was one of his staff. He is one of those who admitted to strangling the two human rights defenders. He was sentenced to twelve years in prison with two years’ security. The Supreme Court recognized him as mitigating circumstances for cooperating with justice.
Finally, Major Paul Mwilambwe Londa, in charge of security for the installations of the National Police General Inspectorate, had testified in great detail about the course of the double crime observed from his workstation. He even risked his life when he appeared before military justice. Deported to Lubumbashi, he has since left the country to seek refuge. Paul Mwilambwe was therefore acquitted by the High Military Court. “Throughout the investigation, it was clear that our client was innocent and that he had also been the victim of a double kidnapping, which meant that he could not present his case before military justice,” emphasizes Me Juvénal Kivuruga Lingani, one of Mwilambwe’s lawyers.
The John Numbi case As far as the civil parties are concerned, the lawyers are preparing for other battles. For them, there are aspects of the Chebeya affair that have not been investigated. “I would like to revoke Colonel Mukalay’s deed. The prosecution has not yet initiated proceedings against him for preventing the illegal possession of weapons. There is also the letter by which we had arrested the head of state for the dismissal of General John Numbi but also Daniel Mukalay”, reminds me Peter Ngomo.
According to sources close to the Supreme Military Court, the file ang deserter general John Numbisuspected of sponsoring the murders of Floribert Chebeya and Fidèle Bazana, is already in the hands of the judges.
Rostin Manketa, chairman of the Voice of the Voiceless, the NGO led by Norbert Chebeya when he was assassinated, said he was “partially satisfied” with the verdict.
General John Numbi, who we have always considered suspect number 1, is not there, so he must be able to show up and all the other personalities we want to see turned into defendants so that everyone is accountable for their actions.