The late Okende stepped down as Minister of Transport last December when Moise Katumbi, the leader of Together for the Republic, quit the ruling coalition and announced his intention to run against President Felix Tshisekedi in DRC’s general elections scheduled for December 30.
In a statement, DRC government spokesman, Patrick Muyaya, described the death of Mr. Odende as an “assassination”.
On July 13, members of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) “strongly condemned” the murder, in “unclear circumstances”, of Mr. Okende.
They called on the Congolese authorities, “guarantors of national cohesion and the security of people and their property, to shed full light on this savage and bloody crime, and to lay hands on Cain, the murderer of the Honorable Chérubin Okende, so that justice may be done.”
In his July 19 homily, Cardinal Ambongo said, “These murders we're recording in our country today, they're not spontaneous acts, they're acts that have been thought through, planned and executed in accordance with a will that has been stopped.”
The member of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (OFM Cap) who has been at the helm of Kinshasa Archdiocese since November 2018 added, “No violence, no murder, will go unpunished. No violence, no murder will escape supreme justice.”
Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.