DR Congo announces long-awaited government

Wednesday May 29 2024

Judith Suminwa is the DR Congo first female Prime Minister. COURTESY


The Democratic Republic of Congo has finally formed a government, some six months after President Felix Tshisekedi was sworn in for a second term.

The country conducted its general election on December 20, 2023. It was followed by bitter negotiations between various coalition partners that had helped Tshisekedi cross the finish line.

Read: DRC’s long wait for Tshisekedi to form government

In a dispatch publicised early on Wednesday, Prime Minister Sama Lukonde, who resigned in February, was formally replaced by Judith Suminwa.  Ms Suminwa had been appointed on April 1 but had not taken up the task yet.

Now she will have to present her programme, including budgetary proposals, to the National Assembly. The National Assembly is also expected to formally approve the new Cabinet which comprises 54 ministers.

Tshisekedi expects that the endorsement for his Cabinet will go as planned especially since he enjoys a majority, with 406 MPs out of the 500 on his side.


Read: Tshisekedi names first female prime minister

There have been major changes in the new government, notably in the security dockets. Just over a week after the failed coup d’état, and the persistent war and armed groups, the Tshisekedi government has changed the ministers of defence and security.

Former Vice-President and ex-warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba is no longer leading the Ministry of Defence. He will now be Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Transport. Bemba will be replaced at the defence ministry by Guy Mwadiamvita, a close associate of President Tshisekedi and a member of the President’s UDPS party.

The Ministry of the Interior and Security is now occupied by Jacquemain Shabani, also close to the Congolese head of state, who replaces another close friend, Peter Kazadi. Tshisekedi has entrusted the Ministry of Justice to Constant Mutamba, 35, who comes from the “moderate opposition” and was an unsuccessful candidate in the December 2023 presidential election.

Christophe Lutundula leaves the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will be replaced by Thérèse Kayiwamba. Patrick Muyaya, the Minister for Communication and Government Spokesman, has been reappointed. 

The new government should set about implementing President Tshisekedi’s programme for his second term in office.

According to the Congolese head of State’s communications director, Eric Nyindu, the new government is “a mission team” which should work to “consolidate the achievements of Tshisekedi’s first term in office.”

That mission is also about job creation: The Congolese president has promised to create 6.4 million jobs during his second term.

“The other mission of Judith Suminwa’s government is to diversify the Congolese economy; the government will have to give the Congolese people more purchasing power; guarantee greater security for citizens; facilitate access to basic services and speed up reforms in the civil service, in particular,” added Nyindu.