By Maniraguha Ferdinand
Twist and turns in the complex political games in the DR Congo have resulted in the emergence of a new coalition which gives President Tshisekedi an upper hand in the power struggle with his predecessor Joseph Kabila.
Kabila’s coalition had majority both in government and in parliament and on some occasions, developmental projects were blocked due to disagreements, which stalled pledges Tshisekedi had promised citizens who voted him in 2018.
In the end of 2020, Tshisekedi made some reforms. He made political consultations with other key political parties including those that had joined FCC of Joseph Kabila. In the end, they agreed to form another Coalition named ‘Union sacrée’ (Sacred Union) aimed at finding a new majority both chambers of parliament.
Senator Modeste Bahati Lukwebo, a former ally of Joseph Kabila, was named as an informant to identify a new majority coalition in the National Assembly. He presented his report to president Tshisekedi by the end of January 2021, after lobbying more than 390 lawmakers out of 500 to join Union sacrée, with majority quitting the FCC of Joseph Kabila.
The report came in the same week that President Tshisekedi accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba, two days after parliament voted him out.
Pan African Visions sat for an interview with Eloge Mwandwe, a political analyst, researcher in Rural Economics from Kinshasa and lecturer at the University of Likasi in Kinshasa. Mwandwe is also a member of AFDC (Alliance des forces démocratiques du Congo), the same party as of Lukwebo.
PAV: After the informant presented his report, what is next for DRC?
Mwandwe: A new permanent national assembly’s bureau will be put in place, and the president in respect of our Constitution, will appoint a new Prime Minister among the political leaders who form the current new identified majority.
PAV: It is said that Union sacrée aims at weakening the power of former president Kabila, what kind of threat did he pose to the current president?
Mwandwe: The new identified majority has nothing to do with individual, instead, it was formed to improve citizens’ life, It is about the country. I first of all do not think that the President Kabila whom I owe respect as former head of state, after eighteen years of power has something else to offer to Congolese. He has done what he could and now, it’s time for the current president, Felix Antoine Tshisekedi to implement his vision through the next government.
PAV: Do you think Kabila will not retaliate?
Mwandwe: We are talking about future. Honestly, Congolese people know President Kabila and know his limits as well.
PAV: What incentives did the Informant give to FCC MPs to join Union sacrée?
Mwandwe: He only presented to them as well as other members of parliament from different political organizations, the vision that the President has for the country, which you will agree with me that majority of them decided to support. As I said earlier, it has nothing to do with individual but the country.
PAV: Are you sure that they will stick to the agreement?
Mwandwe: Only God never knows. For members of parliament, I choose to remain optimistic, because the issue at hand concern the future of our country. We have reached a point where we need to decide for a better future on behalf of next generations.
PAV: Are all Congolese behind these reforms of President Tshisekedi?
Mwandwe: Even God in heaven experienced opposition, that is the reason why today we talk of Lucifer. I don’t think that the president of the republic is concerned on whether his vision has total support from Congolese, but I do think he knows that his vision will take the country to the better heights. It will give hope the country has lost a long time ago.
Before elections, we had some people who could not agree with him, but they are the ones who are supporting him today. Some did not want even to mention his name some weeks ago, however they are now defending his vision. It is a matter of time, it is a matter of political results and improving lives.
PAV: Kabila used to be a powerful figure in the army, do you think the army is behind Tshisekedi now?
Mwandwe: Thank God we can now talk of a republican army, not an individual’s army. According to our Constitution, the president of the republic is the only supreme commander of the army. Today, President Tshisekedi is the president of the republic, so, he is the most powerful figure in the army.
PAV: Observers define developments in DRC as worrisome, which could end in violence, what do you think about it?
Mwandwe: It is their opinion, I don’t see such things happening in the future. People should understand that the DRC has moved from a country which could not give hope to its citizens, to the country envisioning hope for its citizens. Majority of Congolese are focused on implementing the president of the republic’s vision.
PAV: Is there any clear difference from FCC of Kabila and new Sacred Union of Tshisekedi?
Mwandwe: The difference between FCC and Sacred Union is that the FCC was created to win elections which it failed to achieve (in 2018). On the other hand, Sacred Union was created to bring reforms in different areas, which will improve social and economic lives of the Congolese people.