How long shall the Congolese people accept to remain in exile on their own land?

The Moment has come to take its destiny in its own hands

In his address to Christians in Kinshasa, on the occasion of Christmas 2018, Bishop Fridolin Ambongo Besungu, spoke about the elections scheduled for December 30, 2018. “Is it excessive to say that the Congolese people are in exile on their own land?” he asked himself.

The endless armed conflicts and insecurity in the Congo have caused the displacement of more than 4.5 million people in the country, in addition to 13.1 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. With the intensification of armed conflicts in the east of the country, the humanitarian situation has considerably deteriorated.

Meanwhile, the instrumentalization and privatization of state institutions by a handful of individuals have allowed them to divert almost all the resources of the country to serve their interests to the detriment of 80 million Congolese. In this lot, which does not exceed 500 people, we find the Kabila, Lembe, She, Kikaya, Nangaa, Kalev, Mende, Tambwe, Néhémie, Numbi, Nkulu, Mova, Kimbuta, Kapopo, Atundu, Minaku, Kasamba, Kengo, Mokolo, Bitakwira, etc. …

Is it excessive to say that we are in exile on our own land? No, how can this regime justify the exclusion of 1,247,600 voters, or 60% of the electorate of North Kivu, from the territories of Beni, Yumbi and the city of Butembo, 4 days before the December elections?

With the elections of December 30, 2018, the Congolese people could now aspire to peace and a better future than the 17 years of the Kabila regime (the “POWER”, the FCC). In this regard, Bishop Fridolin warns us that “the true peace today” is to not only organize the elections on December 30, 2018, but “it is also that the results that will be published can really reflect the will of the people as expressed in the ballot box.”

At this historic turning point, the majority of the Congolese people want to end this “POWER”, which seeks to maintain itself by all means. While the political playing field is heavily skewed in favour of FCC’s Shadary candidate, the rallies of the opponent Fayulu from LAMUKA have been disrupted by security forces and, in some cases, his supporters have been killed.

Since the FCC wants to keep power at all costs, we believe that much of the “rigging” of elections in favour of Shadary have already been carried out by the CENI well before polling day. The results, “electronically programmed” by the CENI, give the victory to Shadary whatever the scenario. For proof we can refer to the confidence expressed in the words of the Diplomatic Advisor of the President, Kikaya bin Karubi: “Shadary has campaigned not only in cities for show, but also in the deep Congo. Thus, the victory of candidate 13 [Shadary] is ‘mathematically a certainty’”; and Mende’s own words: “Martin Fayulu has not campaigned, he is preparing the contestation of elections and we are waiting for him at the turn. We have the human and political means.”

In fact, despite all the resources of the state put at his disposal by the “POWER”, Shadary remained unpopular throughout the country. On the other hand, despite the obstacles placed on their course by the security forces, LAMUKA’s presidential candidate and UDPS’ (in alphabetical order) drained human tides wherever they went during the election campaign. This demonstration of popular support is important for the opposition because it is an indicator of the reaction of the Congolese population to a fraudulent election, i.e. an election whose results do not reflect the will of the people, as expressed through the urns.

As a result, in the run-up to the December 23, 2018 elections, the “POWER” was shaken by this reality. Hence the abrupt and great movements of the military across the country. In addition to logistics, such movements require time. And time, they did not have one; they had to create it before December 23, 2018. To serve their purpose, they had to burn the warehouse of the CENI to justify its unilateral decision to postpone the elections to December 30, 2018, for “technical” reasons, three days before December 23, the days elections were going to take place.

As with the New Year’s Eve agreement, this postponement simply gave Kabila the time he needed to position his security forces. Thus Kabila launched its election validation strategy of December 30, 2018, namely:

  • Publication by CENI of “electronically programmed” results, giving Shadary victory.
  • Conscience purchases, especially those of observers and validated “losers.”
  • The biased report of the SADC and African Union observers.
  • The Constitutional Court to block any complaint of electoral fraud.
  • Security services (police and army) positioned across the country to suppress popular uprisings.
  • The exclusion of Western observers (who do their job with a great deal of ethics).
  • The sovereignty of the Congo, to rally to his cause his African friends clinging to power.

To pull our country out of the grip of this “POWER”, we must maintain the popular pressure and activism that we have exercised over the last three years, and use the tools that the constitution gives us to get rid of these “gravediggers of our democracy.”

Dominic Kitambala Luwi

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