By Bill Meierling
As President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) readies his country and its government for Congo's next free and fair national election, some of the very opposition groups with whom he worked to arrange next year's vote are coordinating with powerful forces outside of DRC who are deploying millions of dollars in foreign money to influence its outcome, undermine its integrity and financially benefit from its aftermath.
Moise Katumbi, Kabila's exiled political opponent – a millionaire 100x over, who fled the country after he was convicted of financial fraud related to an illegal real estate deal – has been seeking cover and international credibility in secret meetings with American officials in Washington, D.C. During these meetings, Katumbi has positioned himself as an honest and altruistic broker, promising peace and prosperity in Congo. But his message doesn't reflect his motive. While in exile, Katumbi has sought closer ties with wealthy foreign financiers who profit from ongoing instability and insurrection in Congo, primarily through currency manipulation.
Katumbi's version of Congo's prosperity is drawn very narrowly around Katumbi himself and this tightly-knit and highly interconnected group headed by George Soros. With an estimated net worth of over $100 million and ownership stakes in several businesses, including the DRC's most popular soccer team, Katumbi - despite his exile - has a network and a platform to promote himself and weaken Congo's current elected government, the very leaders who secured a lasting peace between rival factions in Congo almost two decades ago, a group with whom Katumbi himself used to be affiliated until 2015. Soccer is one of the few shared passions of the Congolese people, and who better to exploit and redirect the national team's fans' fervor than its owner. But Katumbi's business interests are best served by being back inside the country, so in a well-worn page out of the Soros playbook, Katumbi is enlisting a web of dark money to destabilize the country, allowing him to eventually return. Soros has made billions meddling in elections the world over--including in the United States. He is dedicated to promoting a highly partisan progressive, left-wing agenda and profiting off chaos and crisis overseas. A principal funder of 172 Democracy Alliance-funded organization, the Soros U.S. network is pushing questions and skepticism of census and redistricting validity, just as he and his network are doing in DRC.
Soros and his affiliated philanthropies are heavily involved in funding and promoting global anti-President Kabila sentiment and criticism of the DRC government. Soros, his son, and several individuals who previously worked with him serve as trustees and leadership of the International Crises Group, whose policy experts have called for US-intervention in Congo's process of self-rule and determination. Congo Research Group's parent entity, New York University's Institute for International Cooperation, has received substantial funding from Soros affiliated groups and a member of their board of advisors also serves as County Officer Director in Kinshasa for Soros' Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA). Mvemba Phezo Dizolele, a professor of African studies in the U.S. who has been notably critical of President Kabila, previously served as a contributing blogger for OSISA. The Enough Project's previous parent entity, the Center for American Progress, was heavily funded by Soros and his Open Society Foundations. Soros has even gone as far as to dispatch journalists, who previously worked for outlets including NPR and PBS, to use their platform to push fake news about the current government.
The Congolese people yearn for the peace and prosperity Katumbi promises, but Katumbi cannot deliver without first scoring a win for his biggest fan, George Soros.