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INTERVIEW: Théodore JOUSSO, “I am extremely quiet”
Translation by: Karen Ann SULLIVAN (LNC)
ACCUSED OF GETTING ENTANGLED IN A HIJACKING SCANDAL OF SOME THIRTY MILLION CFA FRANCS, THÉODORE JOUSSO SPEAKS TO DW, DELIVERING HIS ARGUMENTS AND REJECTING ANY KIND OF FAULT.
The Minister of Transport and of Centrafrican Civil Aviation is accused of embezzling in a hijacking scandal of some 30 million CFA Francs. Théodore Jousso is in the eye of the storm of close associates of the Prime Minister Simplice Mathieu Sarandji, who also suspect him of hijacking for his own, dozens million of CFA franc, paid every year by the ASECNA. Within this interview, Theodore Jousso expresses his surprise that “there would be a so-called financial scandal”, and denounces “spurious allegations”.
DW: Mr minister, how do you respond to those accusations of embezzlement of public funds?
Theodore Jousso: There are 18 weekly flights at Bangui Mpoko Airport. You know, It’s a small airport. Each flight is managed by the company AVIATION HANDLING CENTRAL SERVICE (AHS-RCA), which provides ground handling services, that is paid around one million CFA francs each, about 1,500 euros. If I add on irregular flights, at least, we will reach between 40 and 50 million CFA francs, around 70,000 euros. If you take out the operational costs, salaries of the staff, payment of the license, lubricants and fuel, and more the subscription to computer and Internet, how can they will find money to give me 30 million CFA francs per month? You see, it is a nonsense.
DW: Sources that we contacted in CAR are pointing at you?
Theodore Jousso: They are cabals. These sources close to the Primature have been laid bare.
DW: You do not perceive fictitious commissions?
Theodore Jousso: Clearly, this does not hold water. I told you that there are 18 weekly flights. There can not be more than that. These are regular flights. Even if they were generous, they could not give me 30 million a month, on a turnover of 50 million.
DW: So you refute those charges on the air?
Theodore Jousso: I do not have to deny anything, because it does not exist.
The sources of the Primature that you mentioned are not a Gospel truth. It’s just their word against mine.
I demonstrate things to you, with figures to support them. I gave you a rigorous mathematical demonstration, to illustrate you by the absurd, that these are false allegations. But, ask them for their formula?
DW: Why then did the Prime Minister suspend the activities of AHS-RCA and has created a Provisional Ground Handling Management Committee at Bangui Airport?
Theodore Jousso: All this was orchestrated. I was with the head of state in China, when the prime minister issued decrees canceling, illegally, what I had put in place. When I returned, I spoke to the mediator of the Republic and to magistrates who asked the Prime Minister to withdraw the orders; what was done. The Provisional Committee they have set up does not have the approval of the civil aviation authority I represent, nor the qualifications of the personnel, because the licenses belong to the employer. And he does not have insurance, because the insurance belongs to the company. In fact, the airport was nearly closed due to lack of insurance, while the head of state had to land. What a scandal.
DW: Are not you committing an act of insubordination against the prime minister?
Theodore Jousso: Of course not. You asked me, I give you my version of the facts. The facts are stubborn.
DW: What is the position of the head of state of Centrafric in this case?
Theodore Jousso: I have not met the President of the Republic yet. But I am serene. I am waiting for his permission to hold a press conference and inform the journalists about this case.