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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 June, 2003, 18:22 GMT 19:22 UK
DR Congo leader pays his dues
President Joseph Kabila of DR Congo paying his annual income tax in Kinshasa
Mr Kabila says every Congolese must pay tax

President Joseph Kabila of Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) has become the first president of the central African nation to pay tax, the government has said.

Mr Kabila gave bewildered staff at the headquarters of the revenue services in Kinshasa, on Tuesday, a cheque for around $9,000 to cover his annual income tax.

He is "the first Congolese head of state to pay tax," a civil servant at the revenue headquarters commented.

His predecessors, the late Mobutu Sese Seko, the first president of the republic formerly known as Zaire, and Laurent Kabila did not make any contributions to the country's inland revenue.

Tax for all

The president was welcomed at the tax office by staff wearing traditional printed dress inscribed with the words Biso Banso Tofuta Mpako in Lingala and Tulipe Sisi Wote Kodi", in Kiswahili, meaning "We must all pay tax".

The city streets around the tax office were decorated with banners praising Mr Kabila's decision.

Mr Kabila was sworn in as Democratic Republic of Congo's head of state in April for a period of two years before elections are held.

A new transitional government is expected to include representatives of rebel groups who control eastern DR Congo.

But squabbles over who would control the army have delayed the inauguration of the new authority.

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02 Apr 03  |  Africa

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