Saturday, March 03, 2007

Could an imaginary man do that?


Congo-Kinshasa’s new Minister for Foreign Trade, Andre Kasongo Ilunga, has turned out not to actually exist. Each of the parties in the ruling coalition in the incoming government was asked to nominate two candidates for their allotted posts, and the prime minister would choose one. So Honorius Kisimba Ngoy, head of the Union Nationale des Fédéralistes du Congo (UNAFEC),

nominated himself and the fictional Mr. Ilunga, figuring that would ensure that he got the job because he 1) was more or less real, 2) had a cooler name. When Ilunga got the job instead, Kisimba presented a letter of resignation from him, and still won’t admit that there is no such person: “He wrote it himself. He signed it. Could an imaginary man do that?” Can’t fault the logic.

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