Republished from,  JEUNE AFRIQUE  23/03/2018 )

Contacted by Jeune Afrique, the municipality confirms that the opponent – who chose the name of Moïse Katumbi of Agnano when applying for naturalization – acquired the Italian nationality on October 3, 2000, before relinquishing it on January 13, 2017. According to our information, the man in the register was born on December 28, 1964, as was the former governor of Katanga. The answer of San Vito dei Normanni administrative services can be translated as follows: “Following your request, we inform you that, in the acts of civil status of the town hall, it follows that Mr. Moses Katumbi of Agnano acquired Italian nationality on 03/10/2000 and lost the Italian nationality on 13/01/2017.”

Although this scenario is still questionable, it is likely that Moses Katumbi acquired Italian nationality through his father. The latter is indeed born on the island of Rhodes which was, during the inter-war period, under the domination of fascist Italy. A kinship that could have prevailed Moses Katumbi to acquire the Italian nationality, under the legislation in force in the peninsula. Although it may seem anecdotal in other countries, this temporary dual nationality raises a major problem under Congolese law because the Constitution of 2006 prohibits explicitly in article 10 – The Binationality: “The Congolese nationality is one and exclusive. It can not be owned concurrently with another.”

Having acquired Italian citizenship, did Moses Katumbi de facto lose his Congolese nationality? This is in any case what the Minister of Justice Alexis Thambwe Mwamba suggested in June 2017 who had shortly before echoed the rumor of a dual nationality of Moses Katumbi at Jeun Afrique: “It is up to Mr. Katumbi, if he knows he is in this situation, to initiate the procedure provided by law to recover Congolese nationality.”

Par Olivier Liffran

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