Koffi Olomide arrested, questioned by Congo police

| July 26, 2016 | 0 Comments
Renowned Congolese musician Koffi Olomide (left) on arrival at JKIA, Nairobi on Friday 22, 2016. The rhumba star was on July 26, 2016 arrested in his home town of Kinshasa by police. PHOTO | COURTESY

Renowned Congolese musician Koffi Olomide (left) on arrival at JKIA, Nairobi on Friday 22, 2016. The rhumba star was on July 26, 2016 arrested in his home town of Kinshasa by police. PHOTO | COURTESY

Congolese musician Koffi Olomide has been arrested and questioned in his home town of Kinshasa, adding woes to the famed singer who was deported from Kenya for kicking a woman.

“May the righteousness of man be just and fair,” Mr Olomide, one of Africa’s most celebrated musicians, updated in his Facebook page moments after his arrest in Congo.

The BBC has reported that reasons for his arrest are still unclear. He was arrested on orders of the Attorney-General.

Mr Olomide’s troubles have extended across the borders after the Agricultural and Commercial Society of Zambia bowed down to public pressure and cancelled his planned shows in Lusaka.

The Society said that the “disappointing” incident was behind its decision to ban the 60-year-old musician, who rivals the recording prowess of the legendary Franco (Luambo Luanzo Makiadi), the legend of Congolese music who died in 1989, but one with an explosive career characterized by violence.

On Sunday, the Zambia Association of Musicians, in a statement, announced that during his last tour in Zambia, on New Year eve 2013, Mr Olomide beat up one of his dancers and photojournalist at a music concert. He escaped a police dragnet to arrest him.

According to Zambia’s Post Newspaper, in 2011, Mr Olomide also escaped arrest by police exiting Zambia on a motorbike over differences with his promoter.

“Koffi has proved to be violent when musicians are generally peace ambassadors,” the association said.

After his deportation from Kenya, Mr Olomide, who is recognized as the most celebrated and distinguished Zaire modern artist, returned home to the welcome of jeers and boos at the airport.

In Togo, lawyers of a cultural promoter have called for his arrest and prosecution after he failed to turn up in Lome for a music concert which he had been paid partly.

In his home country, press reports indicate that he has been implicated in several incidences but his ties to the Kabila government have protected him from prosecution.

In October 2014, he was arrested by the police in Congo because of a nickname, Vieux Ebola (Old Ebola), which he had used in his banners to announce his next music concert.

Mr Olomide was arrested at a time when Ebola had killed 50 people in DR Congo and when his government was fighting allegations of poor handling of the Ebola crisis. The government, told him that the nickname was not welcome.

Other than Vieux Ebola, the musician has almost 35 nicknames and aliases, probably the record for the biggest number of aliases by any musician in the world.

Not so long ago before his arrest, he added “Benedict XVI of the Congo” to his names — much to the chagrin of many Catholics in his country as the name was seen as an affront to Pope Benedict XVI, the immediate former head of the Catholic Church.

In August 2012, he received a light suspended sentence of three months after he was found guilty of assaulting his producer over a debt.

On February 15, 2012, a French judge charged Mr Olomide with three counts of rape and illegal confinement, after complaints from three of his backup singers.

In 2008, he was arrested after he fought a cameraman at a concert in Kinshasa. Reconciliation was later brokered.

Mr Olomide whose other names are Antoine Christophe Agbepa Mumba is a celebrated singer, dancer and producer with classic hits and a number of his albums listed in the international list of 1001 albums one must hear before they die.




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