Migrants, comrade Soumahoro: “I’m not Lady Gucci”

Liliane Murekatete to Adnkronos: “I’m described as cynical, designer, that’s enough. I’m taking anyone who defamed me to court”

(by Antonio Atte) “That’s enough, I’m taking those who defamed me to court”. It’s a raging river Liliane Murekatete, wife of MP Aboubakar Soumahoro, which ended up in the storm after the investigation opened by the Latina prosecutor’s office on the conditions of workers in the Karibu cooperative founded by his mother Marie Therese Mukamitsindo. Murekatete decides to speak to Adnkronos and points the finger at the media system, complaining of a persecutory attitude towards her by the press.

“I can understand the political attacks without justifying them, but the narration of most journalists has been based on a theorem based on certain and manifest guilt, with all due respect to the presumption of innocence: I am guilty, my mother is guilty, my comrade”, says Liliane, who specifies that she no longer holds any role within Karibu: “The clever, mischievous use of expressions such as the ‘Soumahoro’s wife cooperative’ (while I am no longer part of the cooperative nor as a member of the , neither as a member nor as an employee) or ‘the Soumahoro family cooperative’ which immediately characterized the media campaign is particularly odious as it is aimed at soliciting distinctions, distancing, repudiations, perhaps reciprocal accusations, all strictly public , in the worst tradition of the Autodafé”.

Murekatete has not been forgiven for the selfies in which she appears with designer clothes and bags: photos that have prompted her detractors to coin the nickname “Lady Gucci” for her. But Soumahoro’s partner doesn’t fit: “The construction of the media story aimed at representing me as a cynical ‘designer’ and giving me iconic derisive titles, one who publishes selfies (moreover of the same tenor as those of hundreds of thousands of young Western women and otherwise) while the workers of the cooperative do not receive their salaries is artfully distorted”, Murekatete vents to Adnkronos, underlining how “most of the photos” date back “to 2014/15”, or rather “when I had no job in the Karibu cooperative and when I hadn’t met my partner yet”.

A veritable media tornado hit the Soumahoro family, leading Aboubakar to suspend himself from the party with which he was elected to Parliament in the last general elections, the Left Green Alliance: “Aboubakar – says Liliane – was crucified for those photos because he didn’t condemn them publicly to satisfy the expectations of reality show enthusiasts and didn’t want to talk about my private affairs related to those photos”. And as regards the payment of salaries to employees, Soumahoro’s partner remarks, “it overlooks the fact that I too (who, moreover, have been on leave since April 2022) are waiting for the payment of arrears. And of course – she insists – the subtext of the narrative excludes a priori the hypothesis that a wealthy African woman can exist (and/or that she can honestly become one) and least of all that she can simultaneously engage in social issues”.

Speaking to Adnkronos Murekatete also rejects the “insinuations” and “gratuitous suspicions” about the purchase of the Casal Palocco house. Suspicions, says the partner of the deputy-trade unionist, “that permeate the socio-cultural reasoning of many malicious articles: Murekatete certainly bought the house with the money from the cooperative! But no, the price not included in the sum disbursed thanks to the mortgage is lawful provenance”, he explains: “And the paradox is that the blame has reached such a degree of intensity as to demand that I have to explain the origin of my economic resources to satisfy public curiosity”.

“I – Liliane defends himself – do not lend myself to this media process nor do I intend to lend myself: if the judicial authority asks me to, I will have no problems demonstrating the legitimacy of the purchase, but I culturally reject the process to be celebrated in the media square, for better dissemination via social media and coup de grace in tabloids”. For Murekatete the measure is full: “In this inclined plane I can therefore do nothing else, at the moment, than to appoint my lawyer, Lorenzo Borrè, to take legal action against those who have knowingly and persistently defamed me, to the limits of stalking,” announces Aboubakar’s partner.