Saturday, 31 October 2015

Is the Cycle of impunity the Unconditional price of power perpetuation in DR Congo?

Is the Cycle of impunity the Unconditional price of power perpetuation in DR Congo?

 31/10/2015
 
 
2011 election in DRC: Election volunteers tabulate results at a
compilation centre in Kinshasa
 
In the event of the coming election in 2016, Congo is facing a milestone challenge of having a democratic power change. For more than a century, DR Congo is misruled either by King Leopold II the butcher of Congo; Mobutu, the King of Zaire; or Joseph Kabila, the Raïs of congo. The West had long sacrificed justice for short-term stability in Congo. This policy has only created a spinning cycle of chaos.

Since 1996,  and endorsed by successive agreements that have created the immunity system for killers and looters inside and outside of DR Congo; Congolese military and political actors govern the country under, what I call, the "Sun City's oath" -which gives them a Total Impunity- to continue to misrule without being held accountable for their crimes.

The deeper roots of the crisis have not been adequately addressed when regime change happens in Congo;

Firstly, the Congolese know that their leaders are not elected but selected as the country has the famous  reputation of political negotiations and inclusive agreements for power change. If a former member of Presidential Majority, in French  Majorité Présidentielle (MP) is selected by the international community to be the next president for the sake of continuation  as it happened in 2011 presidential election whereby Joseph Kabila have to be appointed in the name of stability.Then the Congo's stability will continue to be an illusion.

Secondly, in the eyes of  the Congolese, the dark side of Joseph Kabila's Rwandan background -that was endorsed by certain hired Congolese politicians- contributed to his weakness to build a strong state with strong institutions leaving Congo a failed state. This weakness created a  "political culture" whose core elements include more negative values, such as corruption, political and resource ravagery. And that gives birth to new breed of politicians who are unwilling to leave the office, thereby giving themselves access to public resources easily for campaigns to maintain their grip on power.

Thirdly, to comply with the international community's request for Democracy, Kabila's presidency was also characterised not only by political exclusion but the neutralisation of the opposition by corrupting or oppressing opponents so he can rule in illusory pluralist parliament while Congolese citizens are poor and excluded while himself and his cronies are tremendously getting rich.


The G7 leaders at the signing of the deed of their political platform in Kinshasa
 on 10/10/2015

The prioritising of a "non-democratic continuation leadership system" to run DR Congo by selecting politicians within the  Majorité Présidentielle (MP), such as Moise Katumbi, Vital Kamerhe and G7, will not resolve the struggle of Congolese people who need to move on.

For an ordinary Congolese, a former member of MP sudden switch to the opposition does not mean he is not part of "the family of the Kabila's regime". "If this member is elected then democracy is not in DR Congo" said a Congolese living in UK.


Kengo Wa Dongo, Vital Kamerhe, Adolphe Muzito and  Joseph Kabila 

The Congolese, particularly in diaspora, feel that it is highly necessary to resort to non-electoral means to seize power especially knowing that DR Congo is occupied by Rwandan Tutsi power. The crucial question of impunity of the political class shows that the judicial system remains biased, fostering a widespread sense of injustice that continue to threaten the credibility of any elections. More especially when the feeling of Congo being an occupied country by Rwanda persists.

Upon closer examination of the above point; being considered as an outsider, Kabila's situation fostered deep frustration, division and bitterness, and any Congolese -who is playing a role in his regime- is considered as collaborator to regime of occupation.

Lubumbashi 30/06/2011, Joseph Kabila and Moise Katumbi

Additionally, Congolese believe that the price of unconditional support for members of  Kabila's regime, including Joseph Kabila, to be selected by the international community -in particular US, UK, EU and China- for the governance of DR Congo after 2016 is the international community's interest to easily get access to the Congo's highly valuable mineral deposits.

In view of the above, those who took part in the institutions of the former regime may play a role in a political process of any elections if only the new government will prosecute them and recover all Congolese looted national wealth and then the cycle of impunity will break for good in DR Congo.

It is true that a transition to democracy can only be successful if you do not take a wrecking ball to everything that came before. But in the case of DR Congo, it is completely different because the country is occupied by Rwandan Tutsis. Therefore DR Congo needs a power alternative rather than perpetuation of selective leadership.

Electing any former member of MP will legitimize the governance of the previous regime rather than creating  condition for advancing the democratic principles of good governance that would lead to a creation of  an alternative leadership. The lessons of the past suggest that a successful electoral process will not suffice to change governance practices in the country because DR Congo is not free of its demons. On the contrary, this would only have potentially disastrous consequences for the country as the root causes are not addressed.

Why not finally empower the Congolese themselves to make their own choices as they have been struggling since 1885 to build a friendly state from the bottom up?


By Ishiaba Kasonga

With the contribution of Serge Egola Angbakodolo

 
Sources:

Butcher of Congo: http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/35/181.html

King of Zaire: http://icarusfilms.com/new2000/mob.html

Raïs of congo: http://bakanyarwanda.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/les-origines-cachees-de-joseph-kabila.html

Sun City's oath: https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/drc0104.pdf

Presidential Majority: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alliance_of_the_Presidential_Majority

2011 presidential election: http://africanarguments.org/2011/12/22/the-international-community-must-not-turn-their-backs-on-democracy-in-the-dr-congo-by-william-townsend-free-fair-drc/

 Political culture: http://www.redd-monitor.org/2013/01/23/norway-redd-and-corruption-in-dr-congo-risks-of-corruption-will-threaten-the-implementation-of-redd-in-drc/

Corruption: http://www.redd-monitor.org/2015/05/09/corruption-and-redd-in-the-democratic-republic-of-congo/

Campaigns to maintain their grip on power: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/congo/corruption.htm

Moise Katumbi: http://africanarguments.org/2015/09/30/congos-katanga-governor-moise-katumbi-leaves-ruling-party-breaks-silence/

Vital Kamerhe: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:nRPGU_2Hf5wJ:www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/former-congolese-national-assembly-president-vital-kamerhe-news-photo/107605078+&cd=8&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

G7: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/09/dr-congo-politicians-expelled-government-150917122016104.html

US: https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R43166.pdf

UK and EU: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2441580/Wasted-millions-Britain-poured-aid-Congo-Damning-report-reveals-EU-projects-failed-deliver-results.html

China: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2008/07/cong-j15.html