Congo denies entry to reggae star Fakoly
KINSHASA – Ivorian reggae star Tiken Jah Fakoly, an outspoken critic of corruption and authoritarianism in African politics, has been barred from entering the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he was due to perform, the government said on Saturday.
Spokesman Lambert Mende said Fakoly had been denied entry at Kinshasa’s N’djili Airport on Friday by immigration authorities for making a false statement on his visa application.
“I believe (it was) a declaration where he asked for a tourist visa and, upon arrival, immigration authorities learned that he had come for a professional activity,” Mende said.
The spokesman said the authorities had no political motive for their decision.
Fakoly, who was expelled from Senegal in 2007 after calling on then-president Abdoulaye Wade to leave power at a concert in Dakar, had been scheduled to perform at the Jazz Kif festival in the capital Kinshasa on Sunday.
Festival organisers could not be reached for comment.
The political climate in Congo is tense ahead of presidential elections due next year, when President Joseph Kabila, in power since 2001, is required by the constitution to step down.
At least 40 people were killed in violent protests in January against an election law that opponents said was a ploy to extend Kabila’s time in office. – Reuters