Mariyus , a professional journalist, had undertaken to share with us his experience of life in Congo-Kinshasa provided that he could speak in his native French and have an interpreter. Francois Guesdon, a long-time friend of GJS, had kindly agreed to take this role. They were both warmly welcomed.
He explained that there should have been an election but, as the constitution hasn’t been followed, the present government is illegitimate. All elections, including local elections have been cancelled. There is a lot of unrest, but this does not translate into political change. The main hope for change lies with expatriates – a third of the population now lives outside the country and the money they send back home amounts to 70% of GDP. Many educated people are living in UK and USA. They take a direct flight to Belgium, but don’t stay there.
Because of their need for Congo minerals such as uranium and cobalt, western governments including UK, France and USA are prepared to sell arms to Congo Kinshasa. The international corporations that own the mining companies have a key role. As Belgium’s trade is heavily dependent on the Congo, the Belgian government wants the present political situation to continue. However, France is now getting most of its uranium supplies from Mali, Niger and Chad. Because of Brexit, UK will no long be party to EU trade arrangements. Mariyus believes that the UK should be looking to deal with a legitimate government and not with the current one. He is confident that UK government would prefer to be dealing with a legitimate government when negotiating trade deals.
The country’s population is around 80 million, with an average age between 25 and 30. There are four main languages: Lingala, Kikongo, Tshiluba and Swahili, but Lingala is the most used because it mainly affects the sectors of commercial, military, police, social and artistic activities, and above all almost 99% of expatriates speak Lingala. French is the official administrative language but English is slowly starting to take hold.
He described the Organisation for African Unity as “an empty shell”.
Mariyus is persona non grata in Belgium because he criticises the Belgian government. He is attempting to secure his legal position here in UK before setting up a website and publishing a critique. Asked about his EU court case, Mariyus explained that since Luxembourg had declined to deal with it he had elected to use a UK court because UK interests are directly affected by his problem.
On the one hand, Mariyus has discovered that the European Commission, specifically Jose Manuel Barroso and Louis Michel, without any scrutiny and with complete impunity to this day, divert millions of Euros from Great Britain to the Union for the functioning of the institutions and then place them in a “Black Box” CDI/CDE alias CDE that it created specially for this purpose. He considers that it is his duty, as an independent journalist who has settled in Britain specifically to create his own online journal, hold conferences, write books and sell his articles to editorial offices and media on “Brexit”, to let English people know about this. At this point during Brexit negotiations Mariyus is firmly resolved to fully uncover this scandal. He does not intend to squander this opportunity.
On the other hand, Mariyus had passed evidence of the scandal to a British citizen, Nigel Farage MEP, who had chosen to take no action on it.
Mariyus and Francois were thanked for coming and conveying so much about this complex situation. Mariyus was assured of GJS’s good wishes for a satisfactory outcome of his court case.
Talk given on 1st February 2018.