Gérard Mulumba, alias Gecoco
Arrested on 10 November 2017, this former member of the ruling party (he left the PPRD in 2011) is accused of insulting the head of state. Intelligence agents of the Republican Guard allegedly found an insulting message in Tshiluba against president Joseph Kabila on the phone of his collaborator Isaac Kabundi, allegedly sent by Gerard Mulumba Kongolo, aka Gecoco.
He is also blamed for having walked out on the PPRD to join the UDPS, Étienne Tshisekedi’s party, and for having built a bridge in the district of Kingabwa, in Limete, as a tribute to the historic Congolese opposition leader. Gecoco was initially detained at Tshatshi camp where he was beaten and ill-treated before being transferred to the ANR where he was held in poor conditions. He was then transferred to the Ngaliema clinic because his health was deteriorating. According to his doctors, Gérard Mulumba should undergo a kidney transplant in Belgium.
Prosecuted for “contempt of the head of state” and “damaging statements”, Gecoco was tried and sentenced to 18 months in prison. This sentence was confirmed on appeal. On 13 April, against his doctor’s advice, he was taken back to Kinshasa’s Central Prison, before being sent back to the Ngaliema clinic a month later. Despite persistent health problems, he returned to his prison cell on 1 June.
Arrested the same day as his leader, Isaac Kabundi was detained in Kinshasa prison. He was sentenced to the same punishment as Gecoco.