Mobutu accused of giving cash and diamonds to French leaders



Mark Huband in Abidjan

The Guardian, 18 January 1992

President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire gave £500,000 to Jacques Chirac during the former French prime minister’s 1988 presidential election campaign, and gave diamonds to the former French president, Valerv Giscard d’Estaing, a Zairean ex-security service agent claims in a new book.

The book, called Mobutu and the Money of Zaire, is to be published by Harmattan books in Paris on January 27. The author, Emmanuel Dungia, served until 1990 as a secret agent in Zaire’s National Intelligence and Protection Service (Snip), the main arm of President Mobutu’s oppressive security apparatus.

Mr Dungia claims the donation to Mr Chirac’s presidential election campaign was made during a meeting in Nice. The money was handed over by a former special counsellor to President, Nkema Liloo, who is currently Zaire’s ambassador to London. Mr Dungia cites the former Zairean foreign minister, Ekila Liyonda as the source for his claim. Later, he says, Mr Nkema confirmed that he had handed over the money.

Mr Dungia claims that while Mr Giscard was president he accepted diamonds from the Bakwanga mine in the southern Zairean town of Mbuji-Mayi. The gift, Mr Dungia alleges, was a “seductive manoeuvre” in recognition of the fact that Mr Giscard was the first French president to visit Zaire while in office.

Mr Dungia, in exile in Belgium, said he learned about the diamonds from the current Zairean prime minister, Nguza Karl-I-Bond.

Mr Karl-I-Bond referred to the gift of diamonds in 1982 – the year after Mr Giscard left office – and the matter was mentioned in an International Monetary Fund report on the activities of the Central Bank of Zaire.

A spokesman for Mr Giscard yesterday said he had no knowledge of the gift. Mr Chirac’s office did not comment.

Mr Dungia also claimed yesterday that Snip agents were given money to bribe delegates to inform on and disrupt Zaire’s national political conference.


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