Thursday, June 26, 2008

Shadow Minister

There's something curious about the Congolese minister of foreign trade — he doesn't exist.

When the prime minister asked for two nominees for the post, UNACEF party leader Kisimba Ngoy nominated himself and "Kasongo Ilunga," apparently thinking he was bound to win against a phantom.

The plan backfired when the prime minister chose Ilunga. The enigmatic 36-year-old failed to appear at the opening of the new government, and he hasn't claimed his office. Ngoy says that the invisible bureaucrat has resigned, but the prime minister insists that he must do so in person.

That leaves Congo without a trade minister — and Kisimba helplessly offering that dubious resignation letter. "He wrote it himself," he insists. "He signed it. Could an imaginary man do that?"

More interesting oddities like this at Futility Closet.

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