Jean Baptiste Ondaye: He is the secretary general at the Presidency of the Republic. I have met him a number of times and I also noticed that, he is a taciturn and hardworking man. He is perhaps the most honest and well behaved close collaborator of the president of Congo. He has worked at the ministry of Planning under Pierre Moussa. Mr Moussa is currently the head of the Commission of the Economic Community of Central African States abbreviated in French as CEMAC. At the ministry of Planning, Jean Baptiste Ondaye has held all posts of responsibilities before falling apart with Pierre Moussa, his former boss. And when they fell apart because the centre could no longer hold, to paraphrase the Nigerian author Chinue Achebe, he went on a forceful sabbatical in his home town. He only came back to Brazzaville, when he was appointed to the post of secretary general at the Presidency of the Republic. According to sources close to his former ministry, what made Jean Baptiste Ondaye to leave the ministry of Planning, was because, he refused to support a FCFA 61 billion embezzlements plans, planned by Pierre Moussa. The sum to be embezzled was a floating investment budget that Pierre Moussa wanted to divert, but it was opposed by Jean Baptise Ondaye. He is one of the rare Congolese political elite, close to the president of Congo, who is able to give positive appraisal of a person who is not a member of the ruling PCT party or who doesn’t support the President.
It simply means that, he is bold, honest and objective in an environment that is fraught with people who are dishonest and hypocritical. He is capable to make the distinction between partisan observations and honest appraisals. To support my claim that he is bold and honest, he once told me that, Mathias Dzon was one of the most brilliant civil servants in the country and a technocrat who has a profound mastery of his profession and files. His honest appraisals of Mathias Dzon stroke me positively and changed my entire perception on how I considered him. For in country where to slander and blackmail, especially someone like Mathias Dzon is the rule and not the exception, it was refreshing to have met a technocrat, who has not been eaten up of by the shenanigans inherent of politicians in Africa and in Congo in particular. In case President Denis Sassou Nguesso stays in power, as he certainly wants to, he would certainly be amongst the new blood or central figures, needed to change the salacious, corrupt and lazy image inherent with Sassou Nguesso’s ministers and close collaborators. Some of whom have being working handling ministerial posts between two and three decades with the president. President Denis Sassou Nguesso will certainly need a person in the mold of Jean Baptise Ondaye to navigate through his ultimate mandate, if he succeeds in changing the constitution. Whichever way things go for the current regime, Jean Baptise Ondaye is through and through, a brilliant, hardworking civil servant. He is the quintessential technocrat with an exceptional professional and moral qualities needed to redress a rotten system such as the current one in Congo.