Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Congolese Election Magicians

Vital Kamerhe and Etienne Tshisekedi are engaged in a very interesting pre-election dance this week.

(For my own selfish interest I am just linking to some noteworthy articles below)

The election results of 2006, province by province. Why were these the results in 2006? Answer that question and you understand the context of the november 2011 elections.

Today Vital Kamerhe said he wants to find the magic formula which the people are waiting for to snatch victory and bring about change for the Congolese people:
"trouver la formule magique que le peuple attend pour arracher cette victoire et apporter le changement au peuple congolais"
Tshisekedi will likely hold a meeting at the Stade des Martyrs de la Pentecôte in Kinshasa this sunday.

Tshisekedi says today about the turmoil among the opposition "that it annoys him that Kabila changes the constitution in the year of the elections. Kabila had 5 years to change it. It hides intentions that are not very good. I am not worried because those constitutional revisions won't block the road to victory for the opposition":
"Cela me dérange dans la mesure où monsieur Kabila a eu cinq ans pour modifier la Constitution. Il a attendu l’année électorale pour le faire. Cela cache des intentions qui ne sont pas très bonnes. Mais comme c’est fait, c’est fait. Je ne suis pas inquiet parce que cette révision constitutionnelle n’empêchera pas l’opposition de remporter le scrutin."
Tshisekedi also said in an interview today, most noteworthy quotes to me:
"I don't agree with the myth that there should be a unique opposition candidate, and that there should not be other candidates" 
"The international community should not intervene in the business of the Congolese people like in 2006" 
View Etienne Tshisekedi's message in this video.



Voter registration report on UNDP site: view in this video:



July 23th Antoine Gizenga's palu announced it will support the "candidat nationaliste de gauche "

The Diaspora Challenge is seeking Africans of Burundi, Liberia, Kosova, and Rwandese nationalities living abroad interested in setting up business ventures in their home countries.
Winners of the Diaspora Challenge will receive a technical assistance prize worth €5,000 as well as mentorship and coaching from top business executives and successful entrepreneurs

Wikileaks US Embassy Burundi 209 cables released
Old but valuable interview by TV Afrique Canada by Prof Kadari in Montréal with Vital Kamerhe

interview april 25 2008 with Vital Kamerhe on Laurent Nkunda and Kenge Wa Dondo in Brussels

I just read, Kenge Wa Dondo and his UFC that was created a month agoseems to want to sell the skin before the bear has been shot:
 "Quand Tshisekedi appelle tous à se ranger derrière sa personne et conditionne le partage des postes au résultat des urnes et au poids de chaque prétendant, Kengo promeut et défend la thèse d'un partage des responsabilisés avant même le verdict des urnes. Une manière de vendre l'ours avant de l'avoir tué. Bemba semble hors course par la dernière décision de la CPI. Kamerhe quant à lui ne semble pas envisager même une seconde de jouer les seconds couteaux derrière l'UFC. Tshisekedi et Kengo tendent inexorablement vers un affrontement et l'opposition, à sa division ... au grand bonheur de Kabila."
This doesn't seem to bother Etienne Tshisekedi or Vital Kamerhe.  And they are right. It seems that Vital Kamerhe is doing the right thing.

Visit bemba trial website for  a blogpost by Oliva Bueno august 29th.

I love this quote in an interview by Colette Braeckmann with Vital Kamerhe:
"Depuis 2006, il n’y a pas eu de redémarrage : après les élections, c’est même pire qu’avant…Malgré son jeune âge, le président Kabila avait bien su gérer la transition, mettre tous les anciens adversaires autour de la table et amener le peuple congolais aux élections. Nous pensions qu’il allait continuer sur cette lancée. Mais dès le lendemain de sa prestation de serment, il a mis Antoine Gizenga au poste de Premier Ministre. A ce moment là, dans les yeux, j’ai dit à Kabila : « Monsieur le président, nous allons échouer… »
He says that Kabila managed the transition very well, but the day after he was sworn in and chose Antoine Gizenga as prime-minister I  looked him straight in the eyes and told Kabila:
 "mister President, we we will fail"
In Muanda, during the visit of Vital Kamerhe, a member of Tshisekedi's UDPS was arrested for  cutting a poster of Kabila in half. Civil society today demands his immediate release.

The discussion of this dance on the radio by Congolese in French.
A good remark on the program:
"Some say Vital was close to Joseph Kabila, Etienne Tshisekedi was also close to Mobutu See See Seko"
Xenophobic violence in South Africa against Congolese immigrants this week.

Colonel Zabuloni, considered a criminal in  North Kivu, is asked to leave by the chiefs:

"Les autorités coutumières du territoire de Masisi, dans la province du Nord-Kivu, redoutent un soulèvement populaire imminent, à cause de la présence du colonel Zabuloni de la Police nationale congolaise (PNC) à Masisi-centre."

Another blog by David Aronson on the Congolese elections: Congoresources wrote july 15 on Joseph Kabila winning the elections in 2006:
" 2006, Kabila's support among eastern Congolese hinged on two factors: the first was the sense that he was "one of them"--i.e., a Swahili-speaking opponent of the hated Ugandan/Rwandan invaders; and the second was a hope that he could do a decent job of running the place if he were actually in charge. (Western Congolese, who had some experience of his rule, evidently didn't share those hopes)"
I don't think this is correct, Vital Kamerhe has a much more convincing explanation for why Joseph Kabila won in the east.
Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis & Janice Kamenir-Reznik have written a letter to the editor concerning David Aronson's  article blaming Congress for “devastating Congo

Kasai blog discusses technical aspects of the elections.

The Montreal Institute for genocide and human rights studies @MIGSinstitute has a DRC domestic media monitoring report

Other links that aren't really that relevant to this topic:

A new CD has been recorded by Damon Albarn in Congo "Kinshasha One Two "

Interview on alertnet by George Fominyen with Bronwen Manby, Jason Stearns and Laura Seay august 23d.

Old but new to me, Bentley Lumumba on how we got into the congo mess.

In war-torn eastern Congo the IRC is aiding survivors of sexual violence and helping them achieve financial independence



Kinshasa electricity black outs

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