[Analyse] Gabon: The case of “Guy Nzouba-Ndama’s billion” confronts the opposition with its contradictions and divisions – La Libreville

The ranks are emptying around Guy Nzouba-Ndama © DR

On Saturday September 18, the man who was president of the National Assembly for 19 years before going to the opposition and burning what he had cherished, was arrested at the border when he was returning from Congo-Brazzaville. In his suitcases, 1.19 billion FCFA in cash. Since then, the case has generated a number of reactions. Those observed within the Gabonese opposition are particularly interesting to decipher one year before the presidential election.

It is at the foot of the wall that the mason is judged.

For the Gabonese opposition, the Nzouba-Ndama affair serves as a revealer as the presidential election of 2023, which sharpens all desires, is fast approaching.

For her who adorns herself with all the virtues, advocates respect for the rules, transparency and truth, it could have been an opportunity to align her principles – proudly displayed – with her actions – sometimes less glorious.

History would have it otherwise.

For the Gabonese opposition, part of it in any case, the revelation of this affair had the effect of a blow. Stunned, her first instinct was to deny. Denying the facts or, at the very least, trying to minimize them. This is how, while many sources, albeit among the most credible, like the journalists of The union, advanced on Saturday the figure of 1.19 billion CFA francs seized in the suitcases of the president of the Democrats, family sources affirmed that the sum in question amounted to only 500 million CFA francs. A figure immediately taken up, in cash, by the supporters of Mr. Nzouba Ndama and part of the media.

In a second step, the supporters of Mr. Nzouba Ndama undertook to trivialize this affair, yet far from being so in more ways than one. Several opposition figures went there with their verses. Their axis of defence: there would be a lot to say about certain practices, including on the side of the Gabonese Democratic Party. As if Paul’s fault was mitigated by the simple fact that Jacques had also faulted.

For the Gabonese opposition, an act is reprehensible only as long as it has not been committed by one of its members

But the transplant obviously did not take as much as they wanted in public opinion, Guy Nzouba-Ndama’s relatives have, in a third time, tried to divert attention, to make a counter-fire. How ? By using this old trick in politics which consists, to use the expression of a former French Minister of the Interior, in creating “a deal within a deal”.

This sequence was an opportunity for the defenders of the president of the Democrats to show their talents of imagination. This is how, in turn, the controversies over “the humiliating staging of the arrest of Mr. Nzouba-Ndama”then on a possible “conspiracy” (didn’t the customs officers seem to be aware of the contents of the three suitcases…?), then again on the uphill “politicization of justice” (as if the facts were not proven!), then on the legal qualification of the border crossed by Mr. Nzouba Ndama (was it an internal or external border since we are in the CEMAC area?) or on that of the cash in his possession (is it currency? Currency? Other?) or even, more recently, on the so-called “relinquishment of the Court of Franceville in favor of the Special Criminal Court of Libreville”.

These debates on the sex of angels have one objective: to try to substitute in the public mind for the essential (the fault, criminally reprehensible, committed by Mr. Guy Nzouba-Ndama) the accessory (these small peripheral controversies). In doing so, the opposition (once again, part of it) strives to confuse public opinion, which it usually claims to enlighten in the face of “to the lies of power”. In the end, in fact, wouldn’t the culprit be someone other than the one who committed the fault? This is what this opposition wants us to believe in this case. She who adorns herself with the virtues of truth and transparency had an opportunity to apply to herself the principles that she seems to reserve for the majority (qualified as “power”). She could have come out with her coat of arms restored. It is, alas for her, gone differently. And the Gabonese opposition (part of it anyway) to give the impression that an act is in its eyes reprehensible only insofar as it has not been committed by one of its own.

internal war

But the “Guy Nzouba-Ndama billion” affair was not only an opportunity to show the limits of the Gabonese opposition, faced with its contradictions. It was also the place to spread out its divisions. If a part of it, the Democrats and some personalities, like the former Prime Minister Raymond Ndong Sima, tried to come to the aid of the former President of the National Assembly, another, more important part, s is illustrated by its deafening silence. Almost no reaction from supporters of Jean Ping, Alexandre Barro-Chamberier or even Paulette Missambo.

It must be said that, as if by chance, these three personalities are engaged in a race – the qualifier of internal war would have been more appropriate – for the title of the candidate, if not unique, at the very least principal of the opposition during the presidential election of 2023. Race in which Guy Nzouba-Ndama intended to take part until, this Saturday, September 18 in Kabala, his dream of candidacy for the presidential election of 2023 came to be shattered under the hammer blows given by the customs officers on the padlocks which were used to seal three suitcases with colossal loot.

Read our other article on this subject in particular: Guy Nzouba-Ndama’s offside, “good bad news” for the opposition

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[Analyse] Gabon: The case of “Guy Nzouba-Ndama’s billion” confronts the opposition with its contradictions and divisions – La Libreville

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