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18 Juillet 2010

The mirage of democracy in the DRC

 

Joseph Kabila brandissant la Constitution promulguée en février 2006.

Mvemba Phezo Dizolele is a distinguished visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and an African Studies visiting scholar at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He is the author of a forthcoming biography, Mobutu: The Rise and Fall of the Leopard King (2011).
Fifty years ago, on 30 June 1960, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was granted independence from Belgium. The event came with little warning, and the Belgians withdrew quickly, leaving Congo with a poorly educated population and virtually no preparation for self-rule. Between 1960 and 1965, the newly independent country had to try to form a viable state while contending with various secessionist movements, ethnic conflicts, and the commercial interests of foreign companies. By 1965, the DRC had fallen under the dictatorship of General Joseph Mobutu, which would last for more than three decades. In 1997, as the dictatorship was collapsing, the DRC (then known as Zaire) exploded into a complex civil war that also involved most of its neighboring countries.

In 2006, after nearly a decade of warfare had claimed millions of lives, the DRC held multiparty elections for the first time since 1965, electing the appointed interim president Joseph Kabila as president of the republic. Herbert F. Weiss wrote about the historic elections in these pages in April 2007. He concluded his essay with four questions about the future of Congolese democracy: Would Kabila resist authoritarian temptations; would the constitutional divisions between central and provincial powers be respected; would the parliamentary opposition be able to contribute constructively to governance; and would the legitimacy conferred by
elections help to lead the DRC toward real democratization?1 This essay will look at what has happened in the four years since the elections in the context of these questions.

In the five decades since the DRC gained independence, the Congolese have been on a turbulent ride. The initial five-year democratic experiment saw the murder of Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, wars of secession, and foreign mercenary incursions. The UN Security Council had to confront the major crisis triggered by foreign-backed attempts to break the country into smaller zones of influence and the ensuing conflict in the immediate postindependence period. This resulted in the largest UN peacekeeping mission to date, which lasted from 1960 to 1964 and
claimed the life of Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld, who perished in a plane crash in Zambia in 1961 while en route to peace talks.

Mobutu’s Entrance

The conflict helped to create the conditions for the coup d’état that brought the 35-year-old army chief of staff Mobutu to power. On 25 November 1965, the Congolese woke up to martial music playing on national radio. Mobutu had deposed democratically elected president Joseph Kasavubu the night before, putting an end to the DRC’s fledgling democracy. With a nod from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and the Belgian security services, Mobutu inaugurated what would become a 32-year dictatorship.2

His path to power was eased by the ongoing dispute between the young country’s highest officials: Prime Minister Moïse Tshombe’s party won the 1965 legislative elections, yet President Kasavubu refused to reappoint Tshombe as premier. Instead, the president insisted on nominating his ally Evariste Kimba, a former prime minister, to the position. Tshombe’s partisans, with their strong majority in parliament, rejected Kimba’s nomination twice, however. The tension between the
two political camps paralyzed the parliament and government, and Congo
faced a dangerous stalemate.

Mobutu promised to restore peace and order and to return the country to democratic rule within five years. Many Congolese tacitly supported his coup, as the general appealed to their hopes for peace. Mobutu’s promise seemed credible. Five years before, in September 1960, he had staged an earlier coup - again in order to defuse tensions between top officials (at that time Lumumba and Kasavubu) who had been fighting over their constitutional prerogatives. Mobutu then recruited a cadre of young Congolese technocrats, primarily from Belgian universities, to manage the country. He eventually reinstated Kasavubu as president, but only under international pressure.

The second time around, Mobutu had no intention of returning power to the civilians. When his intelligence services reported the first rumblings of discontent in the capital city of Kinshasa in 1966, the general decided to set a trap for four disgruntled former senior ministers from the deposed government. He instructed his associates to encourage them and to provide a safe house for their secret strategy sessions for return ing Congo to democratic rule. In due time, the former ministers (Kimba among them) were arrested and publicly hanged at Kinshasa’s main stadium on 2 June 1966, nearly seven months after Mobutu came to power.
It was the first and last time that he carried out public executions, but the
message of intimidation registered in the national psyche, and the show of force terrified the people into submissiveness.3

So entrenched were Mobutu’s power and related corruption that it took an invasion by a coalition of neighboring countries’ armies, with the consent and support of the United States, to drive the cancer-stricken dictator out of power and into exile in Morocco on 17 May 1997.4

Mobutu’s fall brought a series of wars that have led to the deaths of nearly six million Congolese, but failed to bring democracy. In fact, Mobutu’s successor, longtime rebel leader Laurent Désiré Kabila, suspended the constitution and ruled by decree until his assassination by one of his bodyguards on 16 January 2001.
Ten days later, his 29-year-old son, Major-General Joseph Kabila, assumed
the presidency. Kabila the younger, who had been the army chief of staff, replaced his father in circumstances that still remain unclear. His ascension to the presidency initially perplexed the Congolese, who did not welcome the father-son succession.

Joseph Kabila grew up in neighboring Tanzania and came to Congo for the first time in 1997 at the age of 26 as an officer in his father’s militia. The younger Kabila did not speak French, the country’s official language. Nevertheless, his youth and quiet demeanor offered an appealing contrast to his late father, and he began to generate substantial goodwill among the Congolese. Even veteran opposition leaders who had fought against the elder Kabila’s dictatorship tacitly accepted the fait accompli of the son assuming his mantle. As was the case in November 1965, when Mobutu seemed to promise an end to persistent political unrest, in 2006 the population saw in Joseph Kabila a leader who would set their
country back on course toward a democratic transition.5

The elder Kabila had disappointed the Congolese, who had welcomed him as a liberator in May 1997 amid hopes that his rise to power would finally restore democratic rule, as called for by the National Sovereign Conference (NSC) that took place in Kinshasa between August 1991 and December 1992. Based on Benin’s successful model, which stripped strongman Mathieu Kérékou of his power in 1990 and replaced him with a democratically elected leader in 1991, the Congolese NSC brought together 2,842 delegates representing all classes and strata of society in order to prepare a transition to democracy.6 The deliberations of the conference resulted in the creation of the High Council for the Republic and Transitional Parliament, vested with the power to designate the prime minister
and other state officials. The NSC’s resolutions were never implemented, however, as Mobutu ultimately refused to yield; he suspended the NSC and retained power until he fled the country in 1997.

The elder Kabila, a former pro-Lumumba guerrilla fighter who had trained alongside Che Guevara and his Cuban contingent in the hills of eastern Congo in the 1960s, did not embrace these aspirations for democracy. Although he renamed the country the Democratic Republic of Congo and reinstated the old 1960 national flag, he also suspended the constitution and ruled by decree. The corrupt political culture that destroyed the DRC’s early taste of democracy did not end with Mobutu’s fall. Under the new Kabila regime, power remained in the hands of a few cronies who amassed wealth for themselves à la Mobutu. A new millionaire class emerged overnight, as the DRC sank deeper into misery. In 1998, after Kabila fell from grace with his backers in Uganda and Rwanda, those two countries invaded the DRC in an attempt to overthrow him. A multinational war followed, with Angola, Zimbabwe, and Namibia intervening on Kabila’s side. Unable to unseat Kabila with
their armies, Rwanda and Uganda supported a second deadly rebellion in eastern Congo, which has gone on in various forms to this day.

Like Mobutu before him, the younger Kabila has enjoyed great support from the international community. With an eye largely on their own economic interests, world powers quickly offered him their help. Within days of becoming president, Joseph Kabila visited Paris, Washington, New York, and Brussels. His quiet temperament and low-profile style won over Western leaders. But as had been the case with his father, democracy was not a priority for the younger Kabila. Surrounded by his father’s associates, many of whom he did not trust, Joseph Kabila had only limited influence, particularly as he knew neither the country nor
the people whom he was supposed to lead.

Building democracy in the DRC would have required that Kabila cede some of his presidential powers. But with the country torn apart by conflict and the state on the verge of collapse, Kabila - already in a weak position - could not negotiate. Democracy would have to wait. The president’s first and most important task was the war, and he fully devoted his efforts to the conflict that had partitioned the country into three zones of influence. Jean-Pierre Bemba’s Uganda-backed Movement for the Liberation of the Congo (MLC) ruled over the northern part of the DRC, from east to west; the Rwanda-backed Congolese Rally for Democracy
(RCD) controlled eastern Congo; and Kabila’s Kinshasa-based government
administered the remaining third of the national territory.

The Sun City Peace Agreement and Its Ramifications

In 2002, the Congolese met for several weeks in the South African resort of Sun City as part of the Dialogue Inter-Congolais, initiated by the influential longtime opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi wa Mulumba of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), with the goal of bringing together a small group of influential Congolese to find solutions to the crisis confronting their country. The idea turned into a much larger peace conference under the patronage of South Africa’s president Thabo Mbeki, who hosted the negotiations between the Kabila government, opposition leaders, rebel factions, and civil society groups.

Representatives of Angola, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zimbabwe also attended the discussions. Belgium, France, Great Britain, and the United States sent representatives as well. Unfortunately, the meetings were far from the inter-Congolese dialogue that the people had hoped for, and it was on unfamiliar ground and under tremendous international pressure to hammer out a deal that the participants signed the Sun City Accords on 19 April 2002.

The agreement called for the formation of a transitional government in June 2003, which would be followed by a new constitution and national elections within two years. The transitional government was to be headed by one president and four vice-presidents in an arrangement known as “one plus four.” Kabila retained his position and secured the vice-presidency for reconstruction and development for his People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD). The PPRD’s Yerodia Ndombasi filled this slot. Rebel leaders Bemba of the MLC and Azarias
Ruberwa of the RCD became vice-president for economy and finance and vice-president for defense and security, respectively. Unarmed opposition parties scrambled for the fourth slot and named Zahidi Ngoma vice-president for social and cultural affairs.

The Sun City Accords benefited the belligerents, but bestowed on the DRC its worst government yet. The agreement bolstered Kabila’s standing as a peacemaker, particularly among the residents of conflictplagued eastern Congo. It quickly became apparent to the Congolese, however, that they had no real government. The power-sharing arrangement quickly turned into a scheme known as partage vertical (vertical division). Not only did the parties divide all government posts, including ambassadorships, among themselves, but senior jobs in all state
enterprises were also divvied up among the factions. With the executive, legislative, and judicial branches in the hands of armed groups that fought over every possible point of contention, the Congolese state did not function. Moreover, not all parties in the power-sharing arrangement had equal power or influence. The vice-president representing unarmed opposition groups had minimal influence, as he had no militias. The political parties refused to fully integrate their militias into a new, unified security force, however, instead preferring to keep them as bargaining
chips.

The power-sharing arrangement also exposed the many weaknesses in Kabila’s leadership for the first time. The Congolese people, who had reserved judgment in 2001 and supported Kabila during the Sun City negotiations, became disenchanted with their president. They had expected him to provide the country with a strong and steady sense of direction in the face of persistent corruption, cronyism, opportunism, and insecurity. Instead of leadership, however, the Kabila camp provided a stream of excuses, always blaming the power-sharing scheme
for everything that went wrong and never accepting responsibility or showing a sense of accountability. By shirking the burden of leadership, Kabila further alienated the people of western Congo, who saw him as just another warlord. Amid the freefor- all, the leaders of the transitional government - derisively nicknamed
the “one plus four equals zero government” by the Congolese - ignored the elections timeline and would have continued on indefinitely had it not been for Tshisekedi’s call to end the transition by 30 June 2005, as stipulated in the Sun City Accords.

Threatened with riots and unrest in Kinshasa if they failed to meet the deadline, the transitional government and the International Committee in Support of the Transition (CIAT)7 organized the elections for June 2006.

Today, four years after the country’s first multiparty elections since 1965, this nation of 64 million people belonging to more than two-hundred different ethnic groups still teeters on the brink of dictatorship. The promised “democracy dividends” of political stability, fundamentalindividual rights, and economic progress remain but hollow words in the empty rhetoric of political speeches and resolutions from a paternalistic donor community more concerned with its own short-term interests than with the stability of Congo and Central Africa. President Kabila, rather than taking steps to strengthen the country’s nascent democracy, is now posing the biggest threat to it yet - a brazen constitutional revision. While his conflict-prone country is begging for strong leadership with a clear vision of peace and order, Kabila is consumed by his own quest for extended powers. The president and his advisors insist on a constitutional revision that would extend the presidential mandate from five to seven years, eliminate term limits, allow the president to preside over the judicial High Council, and delay the decentralization
process intended to empower the provinces economically.

Kabila’s secret maneuvers to extend his constitutional powers were first revealed by Radio France Internationale on 21 September 2009. The minister of information immediately denied the report, only to backtrack a few days later when the president of the Senate confirmed that a panel of experts had been assembled at Kabila’s request in order to revise the constitution.8

On 3 March 2010, minister of planning Olivier Kamitatu in an interview with Jeune Afrique called for a constitutional revision that would replace the current semipresidential system with a strong presidential government.9 A rebel leader in 2002, Kamitatu had joined Bemba’s MLC to fight against Laurent Désiré Kabila’s dictatorship. Later, as president of the transitional assembly from 2003 to 2005, Kamitatu had managed the drafting of the current constitution, as agreed upon by the signatories of the Sun City (2002) peace accords. But now, as a member of Kabila’s majority in parliament, he advocates the dismantling of key democratic
safeguards enshrined in the constitution through the abolition of the office of the prime minister and the extension of presidential powers.

A constitutional review in and of itself is not a cardinal sin, but the type of review that Kabila seeks will jeopardize the stability of an already fragile and volatile process. Article 220 of the 2005 Constitution forbids in the most unequivocal terms the revision of any constitutional clauses related to the pillars of Congolese democracy-the republican form of the state, the principle of universal suffrage, the length and limits of presidential terms, the independence of the judiciary, the representative form of government, and political and labor-union pluralism. Article 220 also forbids any constitutional revision leading to the dilution either of individual rights and liberties or of the prerogatives of the provinces and decentralized territorial entities.

In other words, this article lays out the sacrosanct elements of the constitution with which no one can tamper under any circumstance. By seeking to revise Article 220, Kabila is violating both the spirit and the letter of the transitional accords that led to the very elections which legitimized him and his government. The 2005 Constitution, with its semipresidential government, was rewritten specifically as a break from Mobutu’s dictatorial and centralized regime.10 It is equally important to note that this constitution was approved by an 18 December 2005 referendum that drew a 67 percent turnout. Of those who voted, 84 percent
approved the constitution, and Kabila himself signed it into law on 18
February 2006.11

Political developments over the past four years, such as Kabila’s efforts to consolidate all powers in his hands, give ample reason to worry about a return to dictatorship. Unless the donor community takes a firm stand against Kabila’s proposed changes, the democratic process will die, and autocracy will once again take hold in the DRC. If this were to happen, the country would become completely ungovernable.

Given the destructive and exploitive role of the international community in the country since colonial times, donor countries have a moral obligation to assist the Congolese in their quest for real democracy.

These countries, moreover, have the leverage to do so. The DRC relies heavily on foreign aid, which funds close to half its US$6 billion annual national budget. The UN Peacekeeping Mission (MONUC), which serves as the de facto national army, costs donor countries $1.4 billion 150 Journal of Democracy a year. The donor community’s failure thus far to hold itself and its Congolese partners accountable to the social contract enshrined in the constitution has abetted the failure of political leadership in Kinshasa.

The donors’ silence and inaction have emboldened Kabila and his associates
in their dangerous grab for power and sent a negative message to the parliamentary opposition, which interprets this silence as approval of Kabila’s actions. Why, despite the DRC’s dependence on foreign aid and the threat that instability in the country poses to regional security, has the international community not done more to support the establishment of democracy?
Kabila’s problem was never lack of power, but lack of legitimacy.

During the transition period, Kabila’s co-leaders exploited this deficiency whenever they could. Both Bemba and Ruberwa would often push him to the limit of his power until he had no recourse. They could challenge him like this only because Kabila, appointed president after his father’s assassination, lacked the legitimacy conferred by elections.

But Kabila’s willingness to share power with the rebels had made a positive, lasting impression among donor countries, particularly the powerful members of CIAT who were also permanent members of the UN Security Council.
From the donors’ perspective, Bemba, Ruberwa, and others were troublemakers out to derail the democratic process. Bemba was too confrontational and conjured up images of Mobutuesque leadership, and Ruberwa—backed by Rwanda—was not popular and could not sway voters. The quiet-tempered Kabila seemed to be the right man for the job. If only he could gain legitimacy through the ballot box, the donor community thought, then he would rise to the occasion and become the
leader that the country so desperately needed. Eager to achieve a semblance
of peace, the donor countries rushed the elections in the hope of producing a legitimate government with which to partner.

Unfortunately, the haste of the elections posed serious problems that still haunt the DRC today. First, CIAT members ignored the urgings of civil society representatives that leaders of armed groups, including Kabila, be banned from running for president. The failed transitional leadership did not impress the Congolese. The prospect that the same transitional leaders would contend for the presidency scared the population.

They wanted the model that had worked so well in Liberia, paving the way for Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to run and win and giving that country a genuine chance to start anew. Instead, the elections were tailored to ensure that the 35-year-old Kabila would run, with the age of eligibility being reduced from 40 to 30. In addition, as the incumbent, Kabila had all the power of the presidency behind him and the 12,000-man Republican Guard at his disposal.

The DRC had neither the infrastructure nor the funds for the massive operation that the elections would require. The international community under the leadership of the EU provided nearly $700 million for the elections and deployed a contingent of European troops to ensure security in Kinshasa. In an impressive performance, the UN airlifted voting materials throughout the vast country. But as is often the case, whoever finances the elections controls the process, and sometimes the
outcome. Keen for a Kabila victory, the organizers discouraged Kabila’s most serious challengers—including Tshisekedi, who had been the most consistent advocate for the elections—from competing by ignoring their demands and concerns. In the end, Tshisekedi opted out of the process.

The voters were not prepared. Civil society leaders recommended that local elections be held first to help ready citizens for the legislative and presidential elections. The organizers rejected that proposition, too.

Political parties were formed in a rush to meet the registration deadlines, but they could not provide adequate training for their poll workers in time for the elections.12 Nevertheless, roughly 90 percent of eligible Congolese registered to vote, yielding a robust pool of some 25 million voters. In all, 33 candidates registered for the presidential race, and nearly 10,000 candidates ran for the 500-member National Assembly.

Election Day

On July 30, when the polling stations opened, the expectation of a Kabila victory was so strong that the organizers did not even plan for a second round. In the weeks before election day, the foreign press referred to Kabila as the favorite to win, reflecting the desires of the diplomatic corps in Kinshasa. The system did, of course, favor Kabila. He benefited from incumbency and his peacemaker image in the east, and except for Vice-President Bemba, most presidential candidates did not have the money or the organization to compete with Kabila. A charismatic
man, Bemba was wealthy and extremely popular in the west, including in Kinshasa, whose people had long rejected Kabila’s leadership.

Bemba owned radio and television stations and did not need the pro-Kabila state-owned broadcasting infrastructure for his campaign. With a 70 percent turnout rate and an orderly manner of voting nationwide, the election was deemed a success. But the main fear of civil society leaders also materialized, as Kabila’s republican guards and Bemba’s militias fought each other for two days, killing 23 people and
wounding 43. In the end, Kabila failed to avoid a runoff, winning only 45 percent of the vote. Bemba won 20 percent. Kabila handily won the October 29 runoff against Bemba, however, with 58 percent of the vote.

Bemba conceded defeat a month later, after the Supreme Court rejected his legal challenges. Kabila had finally become the legitimate president, backed by an alliance that controlled the majority of seats in parliament.

The elections granted Kabila the legitimacy he needed, but they also revealed a schism between the eastern and western halves of the country.

The people of the east, where Kabila had tremendous support, saw the president as a peacemaker, while the people of the west still questioned his leadership abilities. The donor countries were of the same mind as the easterners, and thus the outcome was exactly what they had hoped for.

Not since Joseph Kasavubu has a Congolese president enjoyed the legitimacy that Kabila achieved nearly four years ago. Whatever the shortcomings of the elections, they produced a president who won a runoff in a race that international observers deemed credible, if not without problems. The elections also produced a robust and vibrant opposition ready to discharge its obligations. In addition to legitimacy, the president also enjoys a majority coalition in parliament through his Alliance for a Presidential Majority (AMP).

It has now been almost ten years since Joseph Kabila became president, so he has a long public record available for all to see. What that record shows is that nearly four years after the elections, the outlook for Congolese democracy gets bleaker by the day.

Kabila forced Bemba, his main challenger, into exile in April 2007. Bemba was subsequently arrested in May 2008 in Belgium on war-crimes charges brought by the International Criminal Court, and he has been in prison and facing trial at The Hague for two years. The 2005 Constitution was tailored to accommodate Kabila, and the donor community continues to support him, offering various debt-relief assistance programs to lighten the DRC’s financial burden. The UN still maintains its peacekeeping mission there, helping to remedy the country’s lack of a professional army.

Still, for almost a decade, Kabila has consistently failed to provide a clear sense of direction and vision to his countrymen. The Congolese have heard many a beautiful speech, but such buzzwords as peace, security, and growth now ring hollow. The president has failed to instill a sense of accountability among his own associates, and the Kabila team is unwilling to take responsibility for any policy failure. In an interview with Jeffrey Gettleman of the New York Times on 3 April 2009, Kabila surprised and insulted his fellow citizens when he said that he had not yet found even fifteen determined and resolute Congolese to help transform
the country.13 Sixty-four million Congolese have been waiting for him to lead them since 2001. They turned out in great numbers to legitimize him in July and October 2006, but their president does not seem to see them.

Kabila inherited a country at war with a collapsed infrastructure. But the Congolese, despite their diversity, possess a strong sense of national unity that has held the country together through the wars and rebellions that threatened to divide it. Where warfare has failed, however, President Kabila may succeed. His presidency, which has led to an eastwest rift along language lines-Lingala in the west and Swahili in the east-is endangering national unity. Although some Western observers have argued that the DRC’s continental size is the real problem, they are wrong.14 The governments of some of the world’s largest and most diverse countries - the United States, for example - provide good governance,
while tiny countries such as Rwanda struggle merely for survival. The DRC’s problem is not its size; it is its lack of leadership.

Desperate for Reform

The Kabila administration has fallen short on many critical fronts - notably, security, freedom of the press, decentralization of power, and individual freedom and liberties - and the quest to amend a constitution that is only four years old is reflective of the government’s misplaced priorities. One year remains in Kabila’s first term, and he is eligible for a second five-year term. As the incumbent, the odds are in his favor. But the tremendous support from his political base in the east has eroded substantially during the last year as a result of his government’s lack of progress on security. Without this support, Kabila cannot win in 2011. It
is this new reality that drives his need for a constitutional review.

Kabila’s government has failed to build a professional army, perhaps the single most important element in ensuring the DRC’s territorial integrity and the security of its citizens. Kabila continues to deal with militias in the east in the same way that he did during the transition period - coopting warlords into the government and the army. Even as militia leaders get promoted into the Congolese army, they remain rooted geographically in their area of influence and continue to perpetrate
horrific abuses on civilians with impunity. In short, the national army is little more than a patchwork of militias with no incentive to change.15 Militiamen and some army regulars continue to terrorize civilians and rape women on an alarming scale while the Congolese army and UN peacekeepers fail to quell the conflict in the east or protect the population. 16 Meanwhile, the rest of the country grapples daily with corruption, insecurity, and the lack of basic but critical public services. The absence of an effective state has encouraged neighbors Angola, Rwanda, and
Uganda to encroach on DRC territory under various pretexts, backing
militias and looting natural resources.

The history of the DRC itself tells of one possible solution to the problem. In the 1960s, the country faced secession attempts, serious and pervasive rebellions, and mercenary incursions. Yet with a clear vision and under strong leadership (for better or worse) from Kinshasa, Congo built one of the most powerful armies in Africa - powerful enough to support U.S. policy in Angola in the mid-1970s as Angola fought for independence from Portugal. Likewise, with U.S. support Mobutu’s army was able to stave off Libya’s incursion into Chad.

Today’s weak national army can hope for no such success. The DRC has no professional army because the government has no incentive to establish a competent security and law-enforcement apparatus. Yet it is insisting that UN peacekeepers withdraw by mid-2011. Such rhetoric might make political sense, but the proposal does not make policy sense.

Without a competent army, security problems would worsen; Kabila’s government would fall in short order if the UN were to withdraw. Kabila and his team in parliament must first take steps to fill the security vacuum with a strong, professional, and unified state military force before asking the UN to leave. The consequences of an untimely withdrawal would be disastrous for the country, exacerbating a situation that is already volatile and dangerous.

A flourishing democracy also requires independent media sources to inform its citizens. Although the Congolese media are dynamic, they also exhibit a split personality. At a certain level, newspapers are free to publish what they please. But the Kabila administration brooks no criticism, and the media have paid a high price for crossing the government.

In the face of a severe campaign of intimidation - several Congolese journalists have even been killed - the press is unable to fulfill its responsibility as a watchdog guarding the people’s interest. Worse still, it is the very constitutional article that Kabila is aiming to revise, Article 220, which grants citizens the freedom of expression. Rather than revising this article, Kabila - the country’s top public official, who should be the people’s servant and guarantor of the constitution—should be using his power to ensure that journalists are protected by the law. A
government that is afraid of criticism cannot be trusted and should not be allowed to change the constitution.

Kabila’s proposed changes to the constitution will affect far more than just the media, however. The government has worked even harder to derail the devolution of power and autonomy to the provinces. The guidelines for decentralization and reconfiguring the provinces from 11 to 26 are laid out in Articles 2 and 176, respectively. Article 176 further mandates that the central government return to each province 40 percent of the revenue that the province generates. Article 226 requires the government to implement the reconfiguration of provinces within 36 months of the Senate’s swearing in, which would be 14 May 2010. The new provincial divisions cannot be carried out in the current context, however, because the central government in Kinshasa does not have the means. The fiscal mandate creates further difficulties, as the new provinces would likely need support
from the central government, while the central government itself is facing severe financial problems. The debate about decentralization is pressing because the provinces need the revenue in order to function and provide the services that the national government has failed to provide for decades.

Nevertheless, this problem does not warrant constitutional revision. But this has become a source of serious contention between Kinshasa and the provincial governments and assemblies. Ceding the revenues to the provinces would reduce the central government’s access to funds and force a more transparent management of natural resources. The Kabila government has refused to apply the constitution because a reduction of funds at the national level would reduce the presidential camp’s influence over anyone who needs to be controlled. Conversely, the power and autonomy of provinces would increase, weakening Kabila’s clout.

The Tension Spreads

The tension has been particularly pronounced in rich provinces such as Bas-Congo and Katanga. The people (as well as the assemblies and governments) of these two provinces have been the most vocal in demanding that the central government respect the constitution. The issue is potentially explosive, as people have been expecting the transfer of power and funds to the local level. Recently the tension has extended to the Ituri, Bas-Uele, Haut-Uele, and Tshopo districts, all of which are threatening to move forward independently with decentralization. Moreover, for four years, the Kabila administration has exacerbated the problem
by refusing to hold local elections.

Congo has had a history of tension between federalists (like Kasavubu) and unitarists (like Mobutu). Unitarism tends to lead to the abuse of power. Determined to remain in office at all costs, Mobutu suppressed any opposition to a strong central government or to his power through a combination of constitutional amendments, money, force, and deportation.

With no opposition oversight, corruption gradually crept into Mobutu’s inner circle. In due course, the strongman was blinded by the illusion of omnipotence and lost control of the ship. Corruption weakened the government, and the country’s infrastructure collapsed.

For now, most citizens of the DRC view the role played by the West and the United Nations (but also the international community at large) as negative at best. From the Congolese perspective, the international community designed the electoral process to benefit and legitimize Joseph Kabila - lowering the age of eligibility for the presidency and failing to prohibit the former warlords (including Ruberwa, Bemba, and Kabila himself) who headed the transitional government from running.

Had they prevented these former warlords from running in the elections, space might have opened up for a real leader to come to power. As a result of these failings, the people of the DRC today view the electoral process and ensuing democratic experience as a deception.

They have not seen the positive change that they voted for after 36 years of dictatorship under Mobutu and then, more briefly, Laurent Désiré Kabila, followed by nearly a decade of war. Yet Joseph Kabila’s Western backers continue to coddle him even as his government has clearly rolled back the country’s small but significant democratic gains and dashed the hopes of millions of Congolese.

Consequently, the Congolese who turned out in large numbers in 2006 to vote for change and a new political dispensation now view the process as a sham. Despite the parody of democracy under which they live, however, the Congolese still yearn for substantive change. As voters in the DRC contemplate the 2011 presidential and legislative elections, now is the time to help steer this country of unlimited potential back on the track toward true democracy. First and foremost, Kabila’s
attempts to revise the constitution to fit his short-term goals must be rejected.

Donor countries have invested tremendous amounts of money and other resources in the DRC’s transition, and those resources will have gone to waste if donors do not provide adequate oversight and place conditions on their aid. They have been quick to dole out carrots, but unwilling to wield their sticks.

If the international community were to invest in institution-building rather than propping up an individual, the DRC would have a far greater chance of establishing a true democracy. Over the past four years, the opposition in parliament has driven all the important initiatives that have maintained a semblance of governance in the country. Moreover, both houses of parliament have instituted some of Africa’s most rigorous oversight initiatives. These have included thorough investigations of
mining contracts in which the Kabila government may have hidden loopholes for corruption, scrutiny of the $9 billion bilateral cooperation agreement with China, and even an attempt to impeach Prime Minister Adolphe Muzito for mismanagement. The opposition, however, faces strong resistance from a corrupt government determined to derail the democratic process by physically intimidating members of parliament and withholding their salaries.

Currently, members of the judicial and legislative branches often lack any staff and can barely provide for their own basic needs, making them susceptible to corruption. Institutional support, including salary support over a period of time and logistical assistance, would help to empower those judges, elected officials, and other civil servants who are determined to act responsibly, ethically, and democratically.

So what of the questions posed by Herbert F. Weiss after the 2006 elections? Far from resisting authoritarian temptations, Kabila has embarked on a quest for power via a dangerous constitutional revision that would extend presidential powers and threaten individual liberties.

Rather than devolving government authority to the provinces, the central government has guarded its power and even dragged its feet reconfiguring the provincial map. Parliament is now dominated by the AMP, while Tshisekedi’s UDPS - perhaps the most important of the opposition parties - abstained from running in the 2006 elections. Meanwhile, the charismatic Bemba of the MLC finds himself behind bars. In other words, the opposition’s effectiveness is limited.
Finally, the legitimacy lent to the new government by the 2006 elections has helped to embolden rather than humble the president, and the DRC now finds itself no closer to real democratization than before. Still, the coming elections hold the possibility for change. But if 2011 is to usher in a democratic renaissance, international donors must first commit themselves to supporting a better election process and the establishment of key democratic structures.

Notes

1. Herbert F. Weiss, “Voting for Change in the DRC,” Journal of Democracy 18 (April
2007): 150.

2. Mvemba Phezo Dizolele, Interview with Larry Devlin, 2 December 2005, Lake of
the Woods, Va.

3. Cléophas Kamitatu, La grande mystification du Congo-Kinshasa (Paris: Editions
Maspero, 1971).

4. Howard French, “Anatomy of an Autocracy: Mobutu’s 32-Year Reign,” New York
Times, 17 May 1997.

5. Mvemba Phezo Dizolele, “Kabila Needs Real Help Now,” International Herald
Tribune, 12 November 2003.

6. Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja, The Congo from Leopold to Kabila: A People’s History
(New York: Zed, 2002).

7. Member countries included Angola, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Gabon, Nigeria,
Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Zambia.

8. The proposed constitutional revision concerned provincial divisions and not the
presidential term, according to the minister, DigitalCongo.net, 19 September 2009.

9. “Olivier Kamitatu: ‘Il faut plus de pouvoir pour le chef de l’Etat,’” Jeune Afrique,
28 February–6 March 2010.

10. International Crisis Group, “Congo: l’enlisement du projet démocratique,” Briefing
Afrique, no. 73, 8 April 2010.

11. Weiss, “Voting for Change in the DRC.”

12. I monitored the election with the Carter Center in Equateur Province. Many party representatives at the voting centers did not understand their role and the recourse process in case of irregularities.

13. Jeffrey Gettleman, “An Interview with Joseph Kabila,” New York Times, 3 April
2009.

14. Jeffrey Herbst and Gregory Mills, “Time to End the Congo Charade,” Foreign-
Policy.com, August 2009.

15. Mvemba Phezo Dizolele, Rachel Stohl, and Mgmt. Design, “The Toll of Small
Arms,” New York Times, 5 September 2006.

16. Mvemba Phezo Dizolele, “The UN in Congo: The Failure of a Peacekeeping Mission,”
New York Times, 10 May 2004.

Journal of Democracy Volume 21, Number 3 July 2010
© 2010 National Endowment for Democracy and The Johns Hopkins University Press

Mvemba Phezo Dizolele
© Congoindépendant 2003-2014

 

16 Réactions

bithe [bittemalu@hotmail.com] 18/07/2010 16:13:16
Is it an analysis of our political situation since 1960 or just the book that you have written?
I think we congolese people,we need more investigation about our history because this one isn’t different from the one some western countries always teach us.
We want some one who by his profound studies can answer why,where and when lumumba was killed?We need to know exactely the reason why western countries don’t want to let an imaginative congolese to rule our lovely country.

I’m among those who think that history is not just about to know different past events but im the one who think that we have to question those past events in order to change the direction or the way of ruling our country..
All of us have the same concern which is to get rid of poverty.The only way to do so is to question our past in other to know the reason why despite our enomous ressources,we aren’t able to give better life to our people.

To summerise,i think that congolese people don’t need to hear the same stories which don’t help our country to prosper but we need new strategies in order to tackle the negative influences of western countries in our decisions making.
As long as we aren’t taking any action to claim our freedom of decisions and our self-ruling,we will just continue to stagnate while other countries are going forward.



Mayoyo Bitumba Tipo-Tipo [mayoyobitumba@hotmail.com] 18/07/2010 16:27:16
Dear Mr. Dizolele,

Your essay looks at what has happened in the four years since the 2006 Congolese elections in the context of some questions that Mr. Herbert F. Weiss asked himself as a conclusion to his essay on the above elections. It is worth noting that his first question - Would Kabila resist authoritarian temptations? - is not relevant at all. The situation of Congo is not different from the situations faced by other African countries. Everywhere in Africa, people thought that elections would pave the way to good governance practices and respect for the rule of law. But everywhere, the democratic process is a story with a sad end as there is no rainbow of hope for a better African future. As a matter of fact, democratically elected presidents do not govern in illuminating contrast to what is thought to be almost surely inevitable in African regimes. After elections, there is still no chance for African people to experience anything other than brutality, corruption, deprivation and absolute disdain for their individuality as human beings. In this context, the relevant question is to know why the legitimacy conferred by elections does not help to lead not only Congo but African countries towards real democratization, just like in the 1960s. The duty of the elite is not to provide a factual analysis such as your essay but to answer this fundamental question. Why do democratic processes end so badly in Africa? This question should be automatically followed by another one, which is as fundamental as the first one. What can be done for Africa to find its beacon of light in terms of democracy? I strongly believe that this is not a matter of personality. It is a problem of democratic systems put in place. There are simply not fit for Africa.



Jean-Pierre Ekongo Yuka [dakua60@yahoo.fr] 18/07/2010 18:13:35
Notre concitoyen Mvemba Dizolele attire l’attention de ses compatriotes sur la vie politique au Congo quatre ans après les élections de 2006. On peut retenir :

1. Joseph Kabila n’a pas résisté à la "tentation dictatoriale"

2. Muselés, les médias sont incapables de jouer leur rôle de "chiens de garde" de l’intérêt général

3.La RD Congo est handicapée par l’absence d’un leadership animé d’une vision claire.

4. Depuis quatre ans, Kabila endort la population avec de "beaux discous" creux.

5. Malgré l’absence de leadership, Kabila ne résiste pas à la tentation d’étendre les prérogatives présidentielles. Il bénéficie de la complicité des gens comme Olivier Kamitatu qui est passé du MLC de Bemba à la mouvance kabiliste dite "AMP".

Floribert Chebeya a été tué pour avoir dénué à l’actuel président les capacités morales et intellectuelles pour diriger un pays comme le "Grand Congo". Louis Michel qui soutient Kabila accepterait-il de confier à celui-ci la gestion à titre intérimaire du mayorat de Jodoigne?
A bon entendeur salut!



Parole de Congolais [standupcongo@gmail.com] 18/07/2010 18:25:14
Quand on parle du Congo peu importe ceux qui se sont succédé à la tète de notre Pays, nous devons être honnête de reconnaitre Mobutu que nous appelons aujourd’hui le pire des dictateurs sur la Terre n’a été à la tète du Congo que grâce à la bénédiction des Etats-Unis d’Amérique et la suite continue au même rythme….Le Congo comme l’Afrique toute entière souffre d’une seule crise et du même problème, ceux qui ont colonisé l’Afrique ne veulent pas nous laisser avancer librement. Mobutu a essayé mais il a compris beaucoup plus tard que Lumumba avait raison. L’Africain doit être prêt à se conduire seul. Mais aussi longtemps qu’il sera attaché à quémander auprès des maitres d’hier tapis dans l’ombre, rien n’avancera. Notre grand problème aujourd’hui, beaucoup de nos frères et sœurs ne sont que des agents de la CIA…il y en a tellement qu’à chaque fois que l’on essaie d’avancer, les agents nous dévoilent auprès de leurs maitres. Quand Laurent Kabila a compris tardivement que rien ne changera, il a acheté des armes pour pouvoir faire repentance auprès du peuple en ramenant la guerre au Rwanda mais que s’est-il passé ? Les agents de la CIA, Thsisekedi en tête ont donné la liste de toutes les armes que détenait Laurent Désiré Kabila aux américains…et la suite c’est l’intervention invisible des américains pour détruire toutes ces armes….Il y a pire. Les congolais ne travaillent pas pour son pays. Et aujourd’hui qu’est qui empêche la résistance à l’occupation de prendre le pied sur les occupants tutsis rwandais éparpillés au pays, les mêmes agents congolais de la CIA. Nous devons savoir que le Rwanda, Kagamé et sa bande de sous-fifres ne peuvent pas contrôler le Congo mais leurs maitres, les américains veillent pour que rien ne change et ce sont les agents congolais de la CIA qui détruisent tout. Nous devons dénoncer les agents congolais de la CIA. Ils se cachent dans la résistance, c’est pourquoi elle est inopérationnelle. Les collabos sont des petits éléments !



zico malu [zicomalu@yahoo.fr] 18/07/2010 19:14:58
people always think that elections had been the end of everything.Democracy is about to give back the power to people.Once people have the exclusivity of power,they should be able to juge their institutions perfomances in order to force their political leaders to rectify where things went wrong.
For what i have seen in my country,it would be pointless to argue that we are living in democratic country.Our so called leaders behave like they are not accountable to any body.

One thing that we have to bear in our mind is that our elections have been financed by the international community.Hence,our sponsors expected by their financial supports to get something back from our country.It would be groundless to talk about fair elections when those who financed it have their interests in our ressources.
As long as our country would rely on western countries and their financial institutions in order to organise our elections,we have to forget about the fairness of those elections.
Two days after ’’Kabila victory’’ in the so called democratic elections,some western medias reconized that his victory had been the result of the international community will.

We are not politically and economically independant.Talking about fair elections is just a dream.Kabila is just the product of this world masters.The only way,we may overcome this tricky situation consist of popular revolution where congolese would get their power back in their hands otherwise we will still western countries’slaves.



Pierre Albert Mayele [palmay1@yahoo.fr] 18/07/2010 19:55:45
Cher Mvemba, merci pour ton analyse pertinente ci-dessus.

Le probleme en RDC ne provient pas d’un manque d’intellectuels ou d’une quelconque carence de diagnostiques du marasme socio-politique qui afflicte le pays depuis son l’independance.

De milliers de livres sont ecrits la dessus - et sans issue !!

Le besoin criant en RDC aujourd’hui se resume dans la carence de "veritabl"e leaders. Donc "hommes d’etat" epris de vision, patriotisme, instincts meritocratiques pour asseoir une vraie democracie - economiquement prospere; et enfin delivrer aux populations demunies les fruits de l’exploitation de leurs resources dans un pays au potentiel equivalent a celui du Bresil !!

Tres peu parmi ceux qui aspirent a devenir President (et encore mois le voyou Kanambe et sa bande au sommet aujourd’hui) considerent la magistrature supreme comme un appel au service de la Nation. Pour la ces opportunistes, il s’agit d’un tremplin pour leur rapide enrichissement et celui de leurs famille et amis.

Pour preuve, nous n’avons qu’a regarder un Antoine Gizenga qui apres 40 ans de (fausse) lutte nationaliste se revele etre un kleiptocrate inbu de nepotisme au meme niveau qu’un Mobutu, Laurent Kabila ou un Kanambe qu’il s’elucubrait a denoncer ! Gizenga et son neveau Muzitu se sont enrichis en un temps record sur le dos du Tresor tout en passant sous silence les derives tyranniques de Kanambe !

Des Bemba, Tshisekedi et Kamerhe qui revent depuis des annees de devenir President ou Premier Ministre - sans projet credible - ne sont que des "Gizenga et Muzito" en attente !

Bref, nous ne sommes pas du tout d’accord avec ceux de nos compatriotes qui gaspillent leur temps a toujours blamer l’Occident pour les maux du Congo. La Belgique, France, Etats Unis ou la Grande Bretagne defenderont toujours leurs interets !

L’altruisme comme base de politique internationale ou pratique diplomatique est une utopie dans l’imagination des Congolais qui s’habituent a une vie de "victimes et parasites"; tandis qu’ils tolerent la presence d’un voyou tel qu’un Kanambe au sommet!

La solution au mal Congolais et donc l’espoir de re-demarrage d’un "etat de droit" est entre les mains des Congoalis eux-memes. Les Guineeens et Nigeriens qui ont pris le courage de defenestrer recemment de regimes dictatoriaux n’avaient pas attendu - en pleurnichant - que la France vienne les "delivrer" !!

Bref, en plus d’un manque de "vrais" leaders en RDC, il y a manque criant de courage et d’esprit de sacrifice au sein de la populace ! Ne dit-on pas qu’un peuple a de leaders qu’il merite?



mbombo [mbombo.louise@yahoo.fr] 18/07/2010 23:25:25
There wont be real democracy in the drc with Kabila alone dictating and contolling the force army. Kabila holds the bigger end of the stick in the country by managing alone and for himself the army. Under such circumstances democracy cannot stand. Those who funded the last election process in 2006 knew this embarassing reality and simply closed their eyes. The army and other security services belong to the man.



mamale [ma.male@live.fr] 18/07/2010 23:46:33
Above all, I would like to draw the attention of the compatriot Mvemba to the fact that in Sun City, there were two agreements: the first between Kabila and Bemba on February 19th, 2002 according to which, the first kept president’s post during the period of transition and second, greedy to be able and to the detriment of other participants in beddings, became prime minister. Ten days ago afterwards, another agreement called ASD(Alliance for the maintenance of dialogue), driven by UDPS and RCD to safeguard the mind of dialogue.That being said, your essay holds a big importance and should be absolutely read by the Westerners, so that they realise their error to have opted for a person without the minimum of intellectual and moral luggage to chair such a large country, conforming in the only criterion of his quiet temperament and low profile. Currently, the country is without "gouvernance" and this situation is very much advantageous for the international criminals who make of this territory their base of operations. It is never late to correct his errors. Since it is them the Westerners that put at the head of our country the person whom they want, 2011 is big occasion to rectify shooting. Our country requires in the presidency a person gathering intellectual, moral capacity and especially a minimum of acceptance across all ethnic groups.Etienne Tshisekedi could fulfil these conditions to have been elected prime minister during Sovereign National Conference of 1992. He could also constitute a guarantee for unit and stability of the country. Only, seen his age, he should be helped by a strong and very competent prime minister, moving aside straighaway all current rotten political class which manages institutions currently.



Jo Bongos [jo.bongos@gmail.com] 19/07/2010 09:27:40
Dear Mr Dizolele,

Thank you for your interesting paper.

Would you please tell us how concretely international donors can support a better election process and the establishment of key democratic structures in DRC?

Looking forward to hear from you.

Best.

Jo Bongos



Brian Wilson [bwilson1@msn.com] 19/07/2010 17:57:24
Come-on, Congolese intellectuals and political elite...!!

With the exception of a few comentators above, including Mr. Albert Mayele, most of you are still "waiting" for the "West" to come and change the regime for you in DRC...and "liberate you" from Kabila’s bloody tyrany!! It’s always the West’s fault !!

In fact, even when we listen to a prominent politician like Etienne Tshisekedi’s in his in-frequent declarations from his "hide-out" in Brussels, he gives us the impression of waiting for the Belgians, French and Americans to "offer him power" in to replace Kabila !

This explains why Etienne Tshisekedi and his Party UDPS never bothered to register to vote in 2006; thus guaranteeing Kabila’s manufactured "victory". If Etienne Tshisekedi had encouraged his followers to vote in 2006, most in UDPS would most probably have voted for JP Bemba, thus allowing JP Bemba to "confront" Kabila’s fraudulent victory on a more popular base. The history of Congo would have taken a different path ...for the better!

So, we understand what Mr. Mamale means in his commentary above when he says "it’s not too late for the West to rectify their errors in DRC".... This is simply ridiculous !

How can educated Congolese be so irresponsible ??

The solution to Congo’s problems starts and ends with Congolaese themselves ! Niger and Guinee proved it !

Don’t be "cry babies" waiting for hand-outs from the West !!!



Daniel MAKILA [makila_daniel@yahoo.fr] 19/07/2010 18:08:10
J’ai lu avec attention le résumé présenté ici de l’essai à paraitre signé du compatriote Mvemba Phezo Dizolele. Tout en encourageant des publications destinées à inculquer aux générations futures la meilleure connaissance de notre pays, je me permet de faire quelques observations. De un je constate que certains faits rapportés ici ne cadrent pas avec la réalité. Un exemple. M’Zée L.D.K est bien sûr reconnu comme un maquisard de la lutte anti-imperialiste. Cependant, la vérité est qu’il n’a jamais été formés aux côtés de Che Guevara, qu’il n’a connu physiquement que l’espace d’une expédition exploratoire de trois mois dans les collines de Fizi-Baraka. Et qu’aucun contingent cubain n’avait foulé le sol de l’est du Congo dans les années 1960. De deux, le compatriote retombe dans le piège des suppositions et des spéculations sans démonstration. Pour lui, le deuxième tour des élections présidentielles de 2006 n’était pas prévu par les organisateurs, ou du moins les institutions ayant financé ces élections. Faux sur toute la ligne. Jai pourtant suivi toutes les péripéties de ce scrutin, mais en aucun moment ce problème ait apparu tel que présenté par l’auteur de l’essai biographique. J’aurais bien voulu voir le compatriote Mvemba, demandeur des reformes pour l’avenir du Congo, commenter l’évolution actuelle de l’expérience sur la décentralisation. Faute de s’y essayer, il apparait clairement que ce compatriote a une vue limitée sur les réalités rd congolaises de ces dernières années.



MBILA [jakombila@yahoo.fr] 19/07/2010 18:58:20

Dans l’analyse de notre situation, on ne peut dissocier nos faiblesses bien réelles de l’influence pernicieuse de l’Occident et particulièrement des Etats-Unis depuis 50 ans.
Mobutu devait partir non parce qu’il était dictateur comme on nous l’a dit, mais parce qu’il avait compris et de ce fait, il devenait un élément gênant. Idem pour Laurent-Désiré Kabila, qui commençait à comprendre et à qui on n’a pas voulu donner l’occasion de faire de la contagion!
A notre tour de comprendre aussi et de propager notre compréhension jusqu’à atteindre le niveau critique pour pouvoir imposer le droit d’obtenir notre vraie libération et de rechercher notre bonheur! L’Occident ne travaillera jamais à notre bonheur car c’est incompatible avec sa survie comme puissance hégémonique.



Dizolele [mdizolele@yahoo.com] 19/07/2010 22:55:55
Chers amis -- D’abord excusez-moi d’utiliser un clavier anglais. Merci pour tous ces commentaires. C’est edifiant de lire les reactions des uns et des autres. Je ne saurais repondre a toute, mais je vais reagir de 2 ou 3 commentaires.

1. Jo Bongos -- The problem has been analyzed at length through 15 pages. Figuring out the problem (s) is the first step to finding the solution (s). The recommendations can be formulated based on the problem as outlined.

2. Daniel Makila
-- Le Congo est certainement grand et nous apprenons chaque jour des nouvelles informations sur notre histoire. Che est arrive au Congo avec un contingent (detachement). Si vous ne l’avez pas encore fait, je vous recommande de lire ses ecrits (The African Dream) sur son experience au congo et dans lesquels il livre ses impressions de LDK. Che n’a pas forme LDK. Mais lui et ses gens ont forme des Simbas. Ou peut-etre nous comprenons le mot contingent differemment.
-- Je ne sais pas ce que vous appelez "vue limitee"du Congo. Je suis ne au Congo et j’ai vecu dans plusieurs parties de ce pays. En 2006, j’ai passe 7 semaines comme reporter/journaliste et j’ai couvert le premier tour des elections a Kinshasa, en Ituri, au Sud Kivu, et au Bas-Congo. J’ai ete integre avec les forces Onusiennes en tant que correspondant de guerre en Ituri (Marocains), Lac Albert (Uruguayeens), Sud-Kivu (Pakistanais) et j’ai fait un reportage sur le mines de coltan. Au deuxieme tour, j’ai ete observateur des elections avec la Fondation Carter en Equateur. En 2007, j’etais coince au Grand Hotel pendant 4 jours quand les troupes de Bemba et la Garde Republicaine se sont battues...j’etais au Katanga et l’annee passee j’ai passe un bout de temps a Kinshasa pour mes recherches...J’en passe. C’est ca une vue limitee du Congo?



Marcel Muyombe [marmuy@yahoo.fr] 20/07/2010 05:15:42
A Mbila, Mamale et consorts...: Quelles sottises !!!

L’Occident defend et defendra toujours ses interets. Un Barrack Obama ne se reveille pas chaque matin se demandant comment il pourrait "tirer avantage" en RDC. La RDC figure rarement au menu de ses preoccupations.

Bref, la RDC - que la Banque Mondiale classe d’ailleurs dans la categorie "Basket Case" - n’a aucune valeur strategique pour de puissances Occidentales dignes de ce nom - apart la petite Belgique qui s’en occupe a travers la bande a LouisMichel !

Ce qui interesse les USA avant tout en Afrique - et en RDC en particulier - c’est l’etablissemsnt de gouvernements stables capables de cooperer avce les USA dans la lutte anti-terrorisme. En plus, comme Barrack Obama le soulignait dans son discours a Accra, les USA se soucient de voire l’emergence de leaders Africains inbus de notions de bonne gouvernance afin de repondre aux attentes sociales de leurs populaces.

Refusant d’accepter ce constat, de milliers de (pseudo)-intellectuels et politiciens Congolais s’elucubrent a s’imaginer toutes sortes de complots Occidentaux contre leur pays; et se perdent dans une culture de dependance et d’irresponsabilite !

Consequence: La bande de voyoux kabilistes qui dirige la RDC n’est se sent pas du tout responsable du marasme Congolais!!

L’institutionalisation de la corruption, detournemnets, nepotisme, et incompetence au sommet, intolerance et assassinats politiques, inpunite... Tout ceci est la faute de l’Occident ??



mbombo [mbombo.louise@yahoo.fr] 20/07/2010 10:49:16
La révolution des drogués ! J’y crois pas beaucoup.
Ce que nous sommes : nous sommes des drogués aveuglés par les biens matériels. Attirés et fanatisés à mourir au bonheur modèle occidental. Fanatiques du bien être matériel occidental que nous singeons aveuglement au mépris de nos valeurs pimitives. Accumuler les biens , quelques soit la manière ; nous a vidé de notre humanisme et continuera pour encore très longtemps à faire la force de ceux qui produisent et font miroiter les merveilles qui nous font courrir. Le recours à l’authenticité de papa Mobutu n’y a rien fait. L’attraction du standard occidental est le plus fort dans nos vies. Et comme nous ne sommes pas capables de créer par nous même de la vraie richesse pour satisfaire cette dépendance mortelle, nous nous disputerons toujours pour les quelques rares miettes que les autres voudront bien nous jetter. Jusqu’à vendre et trahir son pays.



A Mamu Mbombo Louise [kongo@hotmail.com] 22/07/2010 23:01:15

J’ai tellement aimé votre commentaire que je l’ai reposté sur ma page facebook.

N’empeche qu’on a pas le choix. Il nous faut de rever a une révolution des drogués. Sinon a quoi bon se considerer humain.


 

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