IMG_0100Civil servants from the DRC Foreign Ministry went on strike on 10 August 2016 in Kinshasa, demanding that the government effectively implement the Diplomatic Status Act and claiming a fair distribution of revenues collected from the sales of passports and visa fees.

The president of the Foreign Ministry employees union, Louis Kiyamba said “We demand that the Diplomatic Status Act be tabled in parliament when the September session resumes. The law provides for a 4-year rotation in posting and 2 years at headquarters”, which is not currently the case with the majority of Congolese diplomats remaining in posting for longer than prescribed.

Strikers also demanded that passport production commission should be calculated on the 185 US Dollars the DRC passport costs rather than on the 60 USD as is currently done. The balance of 120 US Dollars is paid to the Belgian company Semlex which is contracted by the Congolese government to produce the passports.

Also part of their demands was the need for visa fees collected in DRC diplomatic missions abroad to be repatriated then equitably shared amongst diplomats in posting and those at home.

The strike will affect service delivery at the Foreign Ministry and could lead to delay in the issuance of passports to Congolese nationals and visas to members of foreign diplomatic missions based in the DRC.