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April 30, 2012

President Joseph Kabila named the members of the new government led by Prime Minister Matata Ponyo on Saturday.

The new cabinet will have thirty six members, including two deputy prime ministers, twenty five ministers, one minister-delegate and eight deputy ministers.

Daniel Mukoko Samba, an economics professor and former deputy chief of staff of outgoing Prime Minister Adolphe Muzito, was named Minister of the Budget with the rank of deputy prime minister. The new defense minister, Alexander Lubal Tamu, will also have the rank of deputy prime minister.

Matata Ponyo, who was the finance minister in the previous government, will keep overseeing the ministry with the help of Patrice Kitebi as a minister-delegate.

Six members of the previous government kept their posts or were reassigned: Lambert Mende (Media), Martin Kabwelulu (Mines), Raymond Tshibanda, (Foreign Affairs, International and Regional Cooperation), Fridolin Kasweshi (Planning) and Justin Kalumba (Transport).

Several departments were merged including the ministries of Sports and Culture, Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Industry and Small Businesses, Infrastructure and Housing, Media and Parliamentary Relations and Citizenship.

Women occupy five positions.  Wivine Mumba Matipa was named Minister of Justice and Human Rights and Genevieve Inagosi Minister of Gender, Family and Children.

Few heavyweights of Congolese politics are in the new cabinet which is composed mostly of technocrats.

“The most important thing is efficiency, work, integrity, morality,” Mr. Matata said on Friday speaking about the criteria for inclusion in his government.