APK: advocacy for the reform of the law governing the functioning of the police in the DRC


Kinshasa, December 3rd, 2022 (CPA). –  The provincial Minister in charge of the Interior, Security and Justice, Didier Tenge te Litho pleaded for the reform of the law governing the functioning and organization of the national police in the DRC, during his reply on Friday before the provincial deputies at a oral question by provincial deputy Erick Bokula, linked to the situation of insecurity raging in almost all the districts of the city of Kinshasa.

Reacting to the various questions put to him by the provincial deputies of Kinshasa, an ineffective and under-equipped police force, a police force contributing to insecurity because of the abuses or blunders regularly recorded and there is a serious problem of confidence which has developed between the police and the population. The latter considers the police less and less as a law enforcement service that listens to citizens, but as an institution that contributes to insecurity. These are the results of research conducted by Professor Balingene Kahombo of the Faculty of Law of the University of Goma, a study conducted on the perceptions of the PNC by the populations of the cities of Kinshasa, Goma and Bukavu, said Mr. Tenge te Litho.

He grouped these concerns into two categories, the first of which essentially relates to the organization of the PNC or its functioning and the second to the means allocated by the urban executive to this body of work in the city of Kinshasa.

For Mr. Tenge te Litho, the provincial government through its ministry maintains its relations with the police on the basis of the provisions of the constitution which organizes it as a public service of the State.

The provincial Minister of the Interior referred to a few articles of the constitution and the organic law on the organization and functioning of the PNC, a public service responsible for ensuring public security and tranquility, maintaining and restore order as well as the close protection of the authorities. By this definition, the different missions emerge which are grouped into three parts, in particular ordinary missions, extraordinary missions which are carried out on written legal requisitions or request for assistance from different authorities not having the PNC directly under their orders but invested to make it act in the general interest and those special ones which are carried out by way of replacement, support or assistance of the special services.

That being said, underlined Mr. Tenge te Litho, that his ministry has the PNC within the framework of its extraordinary missions because its ordinary missions take place daily without the need for a requisition on the part of the authorities, referring to several letters which are in fact requisitions, addressed to the provincial commissioner of the PNC.

This means that his ministry regularly follows its attributions, which means that the supervision must necessarily be provided for by a text: « There is no supervision without a text », pointed out Mr. Tenge te Litho, adding that the city-province of Kinshasa has no hierarchical power to be able to sanction the units of the PNC.

Concerning the mobile intervention group called Ujana whose elements are undisciplined is set in motion by the provincial commissioner, the only authority who has the power of discipline over them.

Addressing the second category on the means made available to the PNC, he insisted on the urgent question of reform within the PNC and not to fold his arms to wait for the reforms and he made the commitment to work for a PNC disciplined and subject to authority, guarantee of a real maintenance of public order and security.

 Some recommendations adopted subject to reformulation

Reacting to the reply of the provincial minister Tenge Litho, the author of the oral question with debate, the provincial deputy Erick Bokula made some recommendations to the central government as well as to the Provincial Assembly and to the provincial executive which was adopted to the plenary subject to reformulation.

To the central government, to fully assume its constitutional responsibilities, particularly in terms of motivating the police and providing them with vehicles and materials for the security of the Kinshasa population.

To the Provincial Assembly and the provincial executive, to create a mixed commission Provincial Assembly – provincial executive in order to seize, on convocation of the office, the institutions empowered to rule on the elimination of competence between the central power and the city of Kinshasa in management of the PNC. CPA/