• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Sylvia Bongo, Gabon’s ousted first lady charged with money laundering

Sylvia Bongo Odimba

Sylvia Bongo Ondimba, the wife of Gabon’s ousted president Ali Bongo, has been charged with money laundering and other offenses, the country’s public prosecutor said Friday. This is coming a month after her husband, Ali Bongo Odimba, was toppled in a coup.

The junta led government in the central African country said it is cracking down on corruption and bad governance. The government such vices were widespread under the Bongo regime.

The 60-year-old has been under house arrest in Libreville, Gabon’s capital since the August 30 coup. She also faces charges of concealment and forgery.

Earlier, Sylvia Bongo’s eldest son, Noureddin Bongo Valentin, was charged with corruption and embezzling public funds.

General Brice Oligui Nguema, the country’s military ruler, vowed to make sure that Gabon’s resources are used to benefit the citizens, rather than being squandered by corrupt officials.

He has also promised to hand over the country to civilian rule after a transitional period.

The political and economic challenges facing Gabon are considerable, but Oligui has pledged to improve conditions for the poor and to create a more just and equitable society.

Read also; Ali Bongo: Lavish lifestyle of sartorial dynastic dictators

Even though they all agree that it is too early to be sure about it, analysts believe the serious charges brought against Sylvia Bongo suggest that the new military rulers are serious about cracking down on corruption and bad governance.

The charges also raise questions about the future of the Bongo family in Gabon. The Bongos have ruled the country for over 50 years, and they have amassed a great deal of wealth and power.

Bongo was ousted on August 30, 2023 in a military coup after holding power since 2009.

The coup was led by a group of soldiers who called themselves the “Committee of Transition and the Restoration of Institutions.” They said they were acting to defend the peace and prevent a civil war. Bongo was put under house arrest, and the coup leaders dissolved the government and parliament.

On September 7, 2023, the coup leaders released Bongo from house arrest and said he was free to travel abroad.