DRC’s President Kabila not standing in elections, says envoy
By Lovemore Ranga Mataire
Democratic Republic of Congo ambassador to Zimbabwe Mawampanga Mwana Nanga has said President Joseph Kabila will not stand as a candidate in elections scheduled for December this year.
In an interview, Ambassador Mwana Nanga said those against peace in the DRC were peddling falsehoods in the hope that the country becomes ungovernable for them to continue illegally looting the country’s resources.
“The problem is that today in the DRC, we have two camps. When we got independence, we had the pan-Africanists, those who really wanted the independence to be meaningful and the others who remained collaborators of the colonialists. Patrice Lumumba and his group were pan-Africanists. It was this other group that was instrumental in the arrest and murder of Lumumba and they installed Mobutu Sese Seko,” said Ambassador Mwana Nanga.
He said it was the pan-Africanist group that regrouped and removed Mobutu by force after 32 years of plunder of the country’s resources.
“When they saw what had happened, they didn’t like it and were then armed by Rwanda and Uganda to attack us and that’s when Presidents Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Sam Nujoma of Namibia and Eduardo dos Santos of Angola sent troops to assist us in repelling the rebels.”
He said some of Mobutu’s henchmen who were now part of the unity government in the DRC were the ones casting President Kabila as a dictator who distasted elections.
“Nothing can be further from the truth. Yes, it is true elections are costly to hold in DRC given the vastness of the country but the truth is it is the other group which doesn’t want elections. They want to create chaos so that they become fishers in troubled waters.
“The government’s objective is to organise elections even by December or next year in April and President Kabila has already said he won’t be a candidate because the constitution is crystal clear on that after two terms you are out,” the ambassador said.
He said reports that President Kabila wanted to amend the constitution to enable him to stand as a candidate in the coming elections were “fake news”.
Commenting on the attempt by President Kabila to pacify the opposition parties by bringing them in government, Mwana Nanga said the coalition was a product of national dialogue which recommended that such a national council must run the affairs of state until the next elections.
He, however, said the problem was that the opposition wanted to impose the son of the late Etienne Tshisekedi, Felix, in the coalition government, something that was resisted by most players in the national council.
“How can we be led by someone who is a no brainer, who is failing to raise enough funds to bring his father’s body from Belgium?” he said.
Tshisekedi was a veteran opposition leader for the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) party. He died this year in Belgium at the age of 84.
At the time of his death, Tshisekedi was scheduled to take the top post in a transitional council agreed in December under a deal to pave way for President Kabila to leave power this year.