World Bank: appointments in  the Africa division that raise flags

At the new West and Central Africa Region of the World Bank, do all the appointments really revolve around cases of alleged corruption in the DRC, including those that relate to train accidents in the former Katanga province that left many dead in April and May 2014?  It should be reminded  that the World Bank has never denied allegations contained in the Financial Afrik article of  April 2018 that narrated these cases, including the alleged roles and actual positions of whose involved at the World Bank. Is this because the World Bank, a central device of the international development institutions system is unable to produce a closing memorandum of any investigation into this case ? Or is this because there were never been any investigation into this matter? Is it because covering-up exercises of wrong doing in its in Central and West Africa operations supersede any other consideration? Let’s analyze the most recent appointments of this World Bank department.

We know that Eustache Ouayoro, who was the World Bank Director of Operations for the DRC at the time of these train accidents, was fired in July 2015, just a few months before he was due to retire, following an investigation by EBC (The department that is in charge of ethics and business conduct) that the same World Bank department tried to stifle (see World Bank Administrative Tribunal Judgement on René Michel Bauman’s case, a whistleblower who challenged his firing over retaliation because the reported corruption in RDC operations to his managers).

We also know that Eustache Ouayoro was a member of a network that included Célestin Monga, Albert Zeufack and Emmanuel Pinto Moreira. Emmanuel Pinto Moreira had been relocated to the DRC as Principal Economist by Eustache Ouayoro, Makhtar Diop then Vice-President of the World Bank Africa Region and, the late Jan Walliser, his then number 2, as Director of Strategies and Operations. Emmanuel Pinto Moreira was actually promoted by Eustache Ouayoro to a position that was created on purpose in the DRC, under opaque conditions that have never been clarified.

These three World Bank staff have collaborated to set up a program of events called « Conferences on Growth in the DRC » with the support from Eustache Ouayoro and that of the then DRC government. The program was put in place after Célestin Monga left the World Bank (officially for health reasons, with the support of his then boss, Makhtar Diop) while he was currently under investigation by EBC. This man who claimed to be ill then found refuge with UNIDO as a staff.

Clan logic or meritocracy?

The reconstituted band wanted to organize a cycle of big budget events of which only one took actually place in June 2013, with Eustache Ouayoro, Albert Zeufack and Emmanuel Pinto Moreira from the World Bank side and Célestin Monga from the UNIDO side. Indeed, only one of these contemplated events took place because of the brutal fall of the disgraced Eustache Ouayoro, who was finally fired from the World Bank “because of serious violations of ethics rules ». Albert Zeufack was subsequently appointed Chief Economist for  the Africa Region by Makhtar Diop. Célestin Monga left the UNIDO to become Vice President and Chief Economist of the African Development Bank (AfDB). And Emmanuel Pinto Moreira cast off his moorings at the World Bank to dock with the African Development Bank as Director, thanks to his ex-colleague, partner and friend, Célestin Monga, shortly before the contract of the same Célestin Monga was suddenly not renewed by the President of the ADB.

 

Célestin Monga’s mysterious exits and re-entry

Was the AfDB actually aware that Célestin Monga had ended up by being sanctioned by the World Bank, following EBC’s investigations despite his departure for UNIDO? In any case, several months after the departure of the Cameroonian economist from the Pan-African institution and only a few days before the Mauritanian Ousmane Diagana left his position of World Bank Vice President, Human Resources for that of Vice-President, Central and West Africa, one of the services of the same Ousmane Diagana, headed by Philippe Beauregard, was involved in what looks like a laundering operation of the CV of Célestin Monga.

Because it should be noted that Célestin Monga was barred from rehiring and even from accessing the premises of the World Bank, which was confirmed by the Bank’s Administrative Tribunal in a judgment rendered and published in 2015. It should also be noted that despite the sanctions that weighed on Célestin Monga, he had been entering in the premises of the World Bank to attend the joint IMF-World Bank Spring and Annual Meetings, as member of the President of the AfDB Official Delegation and this, on the watch of his former bosses, including Jan Walliser and Makhtar Diop. But also on the watch of Ousmane Diagana, then World Bank Vice President, Human Resources, therefore the senior official in charge of enforcing World Bank sanctions targeting Celestin Monga. It should also be noted that Eustache Ouayoro, who was under a similar prohibition, did the same with the delegation of the Republic of Congo, on the watch and with the knowledge of his former bosses and, that of Ousmane Diagana, then Vice President EBC, the department that had previously investigated Celestin Monga (before it was headed by Ousmane Diagana) and recommended the sanctions taken against him, until Financial Afrik reported this situation in its above-mentioned April 2018 article about cases of alleged corruption in the DRC, with fatal train accidents that occurred in its former Katanga province, in April and May 2014. Certainly a coincidence (the contrary is excluded), a few weeks after the publication of our survey, an operation of musical chairs went off at the Bank.

Recently, the name of Célestin Monga suddenly reappeared on the World Bank official staff list the for a few days, between end of June and August 2020 (as attested by a high-quality article from our colleagues from Jeune Afrique) before the individual ended up by announcing his departure from the institution to “go and teach at Harvard”. A record time in terms of recruitment and departure from the World Bank that is rather known for its heavy and slow procedures.

Naye Bathily, the cherry on the cake

What is really behind appointments made at the World Bank Central West Africa Region by and for staff that are directly or indirectly involved in the of the DRC affairs? Ousmane Diagana, its new Vice President, has also just appointed Naye Bathily who became  the wife of Makhtar Diop not long ago, as her Head of External Relations. It should be noted that Makhtar Diop, Naye Bathily’s new husband, was the former boss of the same Ousmane Diagana. A mere  coincidence? In any event, she will therefore become Ousmane Diagana’s Senior Communications Advisor, while controlling all official communications in this region.

It should be remembered that Makhtar Diop, the former boss of Ousmane Diagana, had supported the candidacy of the same Ousmane Diagana to become Vice President of EBC, the department of the World Bank that investigates cases of violation of ethical rules, at the same time when the World Bank was shaken by denunciations by whistleblowers of cases of alleged misconduct and corruption in the DRC, targeting managers of the institution, directly and indirectly. These denunciations also targeted Makhtar Diop and Jan Walliser who was then his number 2 in the Africa region, before becoming VP (Equitable Growth). Ousmane Diagana, Makhtar Diop and Jan Walliser subsequently supported the appointment of Sylvie Dossou as manager of the investigations at EBC, while and whereas the same Sylvie Dossou had been targeted by the denunciations by the same whistleblowers on cases of alleged misconduct and corruption in the DRC .

Should it be recalled, Sylvie Dossou was the number 2 of Eustache Ouayoro, as Resident Representative of the World Bank in the Republic of Congo. It seems that her contract at the World Bank was not going to be renewed until, at the last moment, Makhtar Diop suddenly appeared in Brazzaville to announce to the press, from the airport, that Sylvie Dossou was posted to Libreville, although the same Sylvie Dossou was not yet officially informed. Moreover, the related announcement was even not yet made on the World Bank website and was also not yet communicated to the staff, as the World Bank normally operates. Why then so much precipitation? Was this to prevent Sylvie Dossou from making revelations about the complicit silence of the superiors of Eustache Ouayoro about whom, whistleblowers said they were well informed of the actions of their subordinate whom they would have also tried to protect, as the Administrative Tribunal of the World Bank clearly wrote about Makhtar Diop, in its judgment rendered following the complaint of the René Michel Bauman, a whistleblower?

Mouhamadou Moustapha N’Diaye comes out of the closet

It should also be noted that just after taking office as Vice-President of the Central and West Africa region, Ousmane Diagana immediately took Ahmadou Moustapha N’Diaye out of the closet where Jan Walliser (then Vice President , Equitable Growth) sheltered him, to make him now his number 2, as Director, Strategy and Operations. Important detail, Ahmadou Moustapha N’Diaye had been appointed Director of Operations for the DRC and the Republic of Congo by Makhtar Diop, replacing Eustache Ouayoro, then under investigation into the same corruption cases in the DRC and for which his superiors were accused of active or passive complicity by whistleblowers. Ahmadou Moustapha N’Diaye, who was then actually working under Makhtar Diop, was subsequently fired, suddenly, from his position of Director of Operations for the DRC and the Congo, and rushed back to Washington DC, following a scandal that he allegedly tried to cover-up in eastern DRC. The same Ahmadou Moustapha N’Diaye has now become number 2 for Ousmane Diagana.

Another coincidence

Another curious coincidence, Ahmadou Moustapha N’Diaye had been replaced in the DRC by Jean-Christophe Carret who had also acted previously ad interim for Eustache Ouayoro (fired) while he was normally the Sector Leader, therefore, the direct authority under whom the deadly train scandal occurred. Jean-Christophe Carret, who had left the DRC to become a simple Resident Representative in Bangui, was too quickly promoted later on, to return to the DRC as Director of Operations. And Sylvie Dossou, the former number 2 of Eustache Ouayoro, was appointed as Ousmane Diagana’ s number 2 at EBC and the manager to supervise investigations of breach of ethics rules, with the support of Jan Walliser and Makhtar Diop, her former bosses in the Africa Region. Were all these parts and parcels of the overall strategy designed to help block or prevent eventual investigations against their former superiors?

Jean-Christophe Carret was actively or passively involved as Sector Leader, in the acquisition of the deadly locomotives in the framework of the World Bank financed Multimodal Transport project in DRC. Ultimately, is Ahmadou Moustapha N’Diaye finally rewarded for having stoically accepted his crossing of the desert, by keeping quiet about what he knows and everything he experienced in the DRC after taking over from Eustache Ouayoro?

Should one scrutinize all this casting, it would very difficult not to establish linkages between these appointments: camouflaging scandals in the DRC and protecting the managers who were involved at the level of the World Bank?  Of this band, there is only Sylvie Dossou who was fired from her position of manager of EBC and from the World Bank. It should be noted that Pascal Hélène Dubois had temporarily served as Acting Vice President for EBC, right after Ousmane Diagana (then Sylvie Dossou’s boss) was appointed Vice President for Human Resources with immediate effect, just after the publication of the Financial Afrik article which mentioned his  name and that of Sylvie Dossou.

If one adds the unexplained and mysterious departure from the World Bank, of Pascale Hélène Dubois, the former VP of INT who was determined to reopen cases of alleged corruption and re-activate investigations that were blocked while Ousmane Diagana was successively EBC Vice President and Vice President, Human Resources, one could wonder if David Malpass, the current president of the World Bank, who used to be an irascible critic of the functioning of the institution when he was aspiring to its the presidency, actually knows the house well? So quick and eager to give governance lessons to African countries, has the World Bank become a banana institution?

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