Sunday, March 6, 2016

Jean Bruno Richard Itoua MP: the born again Christian Minister of Denis Sassou Nguesso

Jean Bruno Richard Itoua MP: He is the minister of Scientific Research and Member of Parliament for the Ollombo electoral constituency. Ollombo is a village located 19km from Oyo. He is an ethnic Mbouchi like the President of the Republic, but from the Plateau Region whereas the president is from the Cuvette region. Both regions are geographically located in the north of Congo. He is the example of modern Congolese elite. The difference between him and any typical Congolese elite, in particular those created by Denis Sassou Nguesso is that, he is honest and speaks up his mind. Whereas the other typical Denis Sassou Nguesso made Congolese elite are professional liars or a people who make promise that they seldom keep. He too is a creation of Denis Sassou Nguesso. But the fact that he is a Christian and made a formal education in France and worked with civilized people and people who are hard working and honest, has made him a different creature. Jean Bruno Richard Itoua is soft spoken and always well dressed and well mannered. He is also a born again Christian in a country where revivalist missions are making inroad and are gaining power within circles of decision making.  

He is also one of the rare Congolese ministers who don’t have legions of mistresses. In Congo, the number of girl friends that any political elite has, is an indication of his political power and fortune. Multiple wives and mistresses in the Congo of Denis Sassou Nguesso is one of the trademarks of wealth. Hence corruption is high in Congo among the political elite of the ruling Congolese Workers Party abbreviated PCT. Jean Bruno Richard Itoua is different. A French journalist by name Jean Francois Jacquier describes him as one of the most unique Congolese government officers who wants things to be done professionally and without any complications.  He was a former staff of the French oil exploration and Exploitation Company called ELF that was bought over or integrated into what is today called Total. He was also a former managing Director of the state owned oil exploration and marketing company called La Société Nationale des Pétroles du Congo abbreviated SNPC.


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However, rumor has it that, he lost the lucrative post as Director of SNPC and was appointed to the ministry of Hydraulics and Energy because; he refused to get marry to Claudia Leboumba Sassou Nguesso. Mrs. Claudia Leboumba Sassou Nguesso is the daughter of the President Denis Sassou Nguesso. But I once asked him to give me his version on the rumor on the alleged affair between him and Claudia Sassou Nguesso. His reply was short and simple: it is a Congolese invention. He added: this is the only country where people are paid or hired to lie or blackmail opponents.  Another thing with Mr. Itoua is that, unlike some of his colleagues, he at least, has the courage to speak out his mind when necessary and this, honestly. Perhaps it is because he is a practicing born again Christian. Hence he has the courage to say things that sometimes ruffles feathers within the ruling party and government. But the grand question is this: will he be able to play any role in Congo after Denis Sassou Nguesso is no more President of the Republic?

This is so because, he has never faced any true political challenge, for even where he has been elected as MP, he is almost always the lone candidate. This simply means that, he has not yet tested real competition. Perhaps the fact that, he is a born again Christian, which is becoming very influential in the country, he might use it or it might help him to play an important role in Congo after Denis Sassou Nguesso is gone. His only political asset, which is not to be neglected, is that, he is honest, but the wrong side of it is that, he is working in a system that is full of vile men and women who do not like the truth.  The system he is working for has not been able to fight against corruption and unemployment. It has instead bread corruption, incompetence and nepotism to a level never seen before. Were he to gather the courage to distant himself from the current government, he will be loved and admired not only by the people, but most importantly, by God that he claims to be his loyal servant. For the current system governing Congo, is evil.


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