Comparing Mwanke to Richelieu as does Colette Braeckman doesn't seem helpfull to me either. His lavish lifestyle and personal pet projects don't make him a Grey Eminence reminscent of Aldous Huxley's famous book. CENI President Pastor Mulunda's name would probably be more fitting for a superficial comparison to French cardinal Richelieu. Grey Eminince, the austere monk that did some of Richelieu's dirty work, as described by Huxley, has more characteristics of a Paul Kagame heading the military intelligence inside Uganda during the ninenties. And that brings us to the Richelieu of our times: Yoweri Museveni, the guardian of Africa's liberation narrative.
As Kambale noted in his first reaction to the death of Augustin Katumba Mwanke, this briber-in-chief actually left a fortune. How ironic, like a Jacob he sold his birthright and soul for a bowl of soup. This gives me the impression he was mostly after money and no ideologue. Which brings us to his role as chief-negotiator for a chinese-congolese deal as described by Howard French in the article Next Empire in may 2010:
"In Congo it was commonly said that President Kabila had bet his presidency on relations with China; for an official to say anything critical could be career-ending, or worse."Dambisa Moyo is quoted in that article saying "China offers a way out of the mess the west has created", "western obsession with democracy has been harmfull" and "sustainable democracy is only possible after a strong middle class has emerged".
Allthough the press in Europe and the US reported Dambisa Moyo book "dead aid" as if it was revolutionary, in reality her comments above make clear that her views are in fact a description of the status quo of both European and American consensus on aid, foreign policy and democratic development. Both US foreign policy and the aid specialist community see the development of civil society as a prerequisit for democracy.
In my opinion a strong middle class or civil society is not a guarantee for, nor a sure road to democracy. Politics is about narratives like the "liberation struggle against colonialism" the "aid miracle", the "war on terror", "struggle for civil rights", "Ich bin ein Berliner". Just developing civil society is not a story that can move people. And to think democracy can only deepen is just naive. The aid communities irritation and fascination with Nicholas Kristof proves my point that narratives do count.