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Vol 38 No 24

Published 5th December 1997


Congo-Kinshasa

Kabila's banker

A brass plaque outside the smart new offices of the Banque de Commerce et de Développementin Kinshasa's main street, Boulevard du 30- Juin, proclaims that they were opened by President Laurent-Désiré Kabila on 25 October. The connection doesn't end there. Ministers in Mr. Kabila's government have been urging businessmen, especially mining companies seeking contracts, to pay millions of dollars up front into the new bank. Diplomats and bankers in Kinshasa claim that Mr. Kabila and senior members of his government have a stake in the bank through a company called Comiex. Diplomatic sources say shareholders in Comiex include: Major General Salim Saleh, brother of Uganda's President Museveni; two senior ministers in government and a Rwandan company. Others speak of Angolan and Eritrean interests in it.

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