Exactly 10 years ago, specifically between July 8 and 9 of 2007, Floribert Bwana Chui, who was a young member of the Community of Sant'Egidio, died in Goma (Congo). He was killed because he refused to give in to corruption in order to protect others. He was only 26 years old. On the tenth anniversary of his death, we remember this young martyr of integrity.

During his first trip to Africa, at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi, Pope Francis reflected on the questions that a young woman asked him ("Can we justify corruption on the grounds that everyone is corrupted? How can we be Christians and fight the evil of corruption?"). Thus, Pope Francis replied in this way: "Every time we accept a bribe, we destroy our hearts and our country. Please do not get a taste for this sugar which is called corruption. As in all things, you have to start: if you do not want corruption, you start now! If you do not start, your neighbor will not start either!"

About ten years earlier, a young Congolese Christian had begun what Pope Francis was saying with respect to corruption. This young man experienced resisting to the point of blood, by facing in this way torture and death. Hence, he had said "No" to corruption exactly ten years ago. In particular, he had wanted to prevent the sugar of easy money from destroying him on the inside and continuing to corrode the life of his country. He had given priority to the life and health of the people and not his own personal tranquility.

That young man's name was Floribert Bwana Chui bin Kosit. He was born in 1981 in Goma, which is located in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo and borders Rwanda. He died in Goma because he was killed between July 8 and 9 of 2007 for not having consented to the passage of deteriorated foodstuffs, which are harmful to the health of the population.
He was part of the Community of Sant'Egidio in Goma. Moreover, he was one of the most faithful, generous, and intelligent young people at the service of the street children. He worked at the customs as a "Commissioner of loss". In fact, he had the task of intervening in case the foodstuffs, which arrived in Congo from Rwanda, did not meet the necessary requirements for marketing and consumption. Although Father Dominique Karamba is now deceased, he was dean at Saint-Esprit in Goma, and he commented on Floribert by saying: "Bwana Chui refused to let in the food that could have poisoned so many individuals. Thus, they organized Floribert’s assassination. Money was the cause of his death. Therefore, his figure can be a model for those who fight against corruption, for those who do not want to be contaminated".

Today, in Goma, the diocesan phase of Floribert's beatification process has started. The mechanism for martyrdom has begun because the young man sacrificed his life for integrity to which he was called not only by the laws of the State, but also those of the Gospel. A dear friend of his, who is Sr. Jeanne-Cécile, remembers her last meeting with Florbert in this way: "He told me that they had tried to bribe him to not destroy the spoiled food; indeed, they had offered him first 1000 dollars, then more, until they reached an amount of 3000 dollars. However, he refused: as a Christian, he could not accept putting the lives of so many people in danger. I told him that he had done well because he had not made himself an accomplice of the evil. He added: 'The money will soon disappear. Instead, those people who want to consume those products, what would happen to them?' He continued, 'Am I living for Christ or not? That is why I cannot accept it.’ He concluded by saying: ‘It is better to die than to accept that money’. We agreed to meet again the following Saturday to talk more. Nevertheless, I did not get free before 3 p.m. on that Saturday; hence, he did not answer when I called him on his cell phone because he had already been kidnapped".

Mgr. Faustin Ngabu, who was the bishop in Goma in those years, asserted: "Floribert died for his honesty. Unfortunately, there is so much misery in Congo. They say: 'Everybody does it anyway'. Nonetheless, I see Floribert as someone who was able to preserve his freedom in an extremely difficult situation. What he experienced was a strong way of living the Christian life. He lived as a strong man.
Faith, listening to the Gospel, and love for justice were translated into strength in Floribert's story. A tenacity that is transmitted, which even encourages to resist and provides hope in a better world that is freer, juster, more human, and less slave to money.